Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis (File Photo)
Amid reports forecasting deficit rainfall, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced allocation of Rs 30 crore for cloud seeding during this year's monsoon season. As per the earlier reports, the cloud seeding programme is expected to be undertaken in Vidarbha and Marathwada as the rainfall is expected to be poor this year in these regions. The amount of Rs 30 crore will be spent on procuring aircraft and radar system for the proposed programme, according to a statement released by the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).
"Maharashtra Government allocates Rs 30 crore for cloud seeding during this year's monsoon," the news agency ANI reported.
Maharashtra Government allocates Rs 30 crore for cloud seeding during this year's monsoon. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/cFlnpxqOeC— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2019
As part of cloud seeding, moisture-laden clouds are sprayed with chemicals to increase condensation that then falls to the ground as rain. Experts suggest that the process should be carried out during early stages of the monsoon, especially between July and August, in order to get the best possible output. The Devendra Fadnavis government had first carried out cloud seeding in 2015 during drought, but the results were mixed as the exercise was carried out in the latter half of the monsoon.
This year, the monsoon is likely to be delayed as its arrival expected on June 6, five days after its normal onset date, according to the India Meteorological Department. The IMD and private weather agency Skymet were unanimous on the prediction of the late arrival of monsoon this year. If the monsoon arrives late, it will be third such instance since 2014 when it arrived on June 5, followed by June 6 in 2015 and June 8 in 2016.
The decision to undertake the cloud seeding programme in Maharashtra was taken at a state Cabinet meeting held in Mumbai this afternoon. Besides, the Cabinet also decided to set up a honey collection centre to give a boost to honey production as a supplementary business for agriculture. The scheme will be implemented through the Khadi Gram Udyog Mandal.
Similarly, the Cabinet gave a go ahead for extending the power tariff waiver in Vidarbha and Marathwada for another five years. The decision, which will cost the state exchequer Rs 600 crore, will boost industrial investment in the two backward regions.