Never mind expert advice, the civic body will go ahead with cloud seeding. The artificial method induces precipitation from clouds.
Despite being advised otherwise, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) hopes cloud seeding will bring rainfall in catchment areas of lakes supplying water to the city. To tide over the water crisis, the BMC will consult cloud seeding expert Shantilal Meckoni who had worked on a similar project in 1992.
This was decided after meetings held with the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) on Friday.
IITM has taken up a three-year project to conduct cloud seeding throughout the nation.
“IITM’s group leader Dr J.R. Kulkarni said they will not be able to implement the process this year, but BMC insists,” said Kapil Gupta, IIT professor and disaster management expert.
“This year we will consult Meckoni who will submit his report in two days,” said BMC’s Additional Municipal Commissioner Anil Diggikar.
Diggikar said there are two ways of executing cloud seeding — the crude method and the airplane method.
As per the first method, silver iodide compound is burnt so that smoke rises to the clouds to initiate precipitation. In the other method an aircraft is flown up to the clouds to monitor humidity levels after which the cloud is seeded with fumes of the compound.
“If an appropriate aircraft is available right away, we could seed the clouds as early as Saturday,” said Gupta. In 1992, cloud seeding was tried out over Tansa and Modak Sagar lakes yielding 25 mm of rain.