Cloud-seeding plan: Parties criticise BMC for cost escalation
The civic body's cloud-seeding project has run into fresh trouble, with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) opposing the ‘costly’ and ‘unpredictable’ plan.
The Congress too had earlier opposed the project.
NCP group leader in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Dhananjay Pisal, on Thursday wrote a letter to municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte, asking him to abort the cloud-seeding project.
This came in response to the exponential rise in the project cost in just a week.
“Initially, it was estimated that the project will cost Rs12 crore, but now the cost has increased to up to Rs20 crore. We have no idea about the reason behind the sudden increase. Also, there is no guarantee from the civic administration that the project will result in sufficient rain. It is a waste of taxpayers’ money,” he said.
Pisal said that he had always maintained scepticism about the project. He said the civic body should think about developing other water sources for citizens.
Congress group leader Dyanraj Nikam had boycotted the group leaders’ meeting on the subject last week.
Opposition parties too have criticised the sudden cost escalation. Samajwadi Party group leader Rais Sheikh said that he would ask the standing committee to issue a statement on the escalation.
The civic body had last week announced its decision to go ahead with the controversial cloud-seeding project, in view of the poor rainfall.
It had carried out cloud seeding experiments in 2009 as well, but the project had failed.