Cloud seeding company wants operations extended

Says govt can cash in on cyclonic formation in Bay of Bengal

The private firm which has taken up cloud seeding operations in the Cauvery basin for the last 25 days has proposed to the State government to extend the operations for a few more days given the fact that there might be another cyclonic formation in the Bay of Bengal.

The Agni Aero Sports Adventure Academy Private Limited (AASAA), which will complete its one-month project on November 17, has written to the Water Resources Department stating that the government can capitalise on the low pressure system forming in the West coast and enhance precipitation.

Rainfall enhancement

Wing Commander G S R Sharma, Chief Meteorologist of AASAA, told Deccan Herald that the Nilam cyclonic system helped rainfall enhancement in the downstream of Karnataka.
He said “good clouds” were formed for two days additionally because of this low
pressure system that moved into the State.

“We wrote to the department last week proposing that seeding operations be extended by at least another four to five days as we can cash in on the second low pressure system that is forming in the West coast. We are yet to hear from the government,” he added.

Sources in the Water Resources Department said that the matter of extension rested entirely with the chief minister’s office.

Officials said cloud seeding should, in fact, be taken up as a “scientific research endeavour” for the next few years, whether or not it contributed as an effective “water management tool”.

Director, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Center, V S Prakash, who is also a member of the expert panel that is overseeing the cloud seeding project, said it would be advisable to extend the operations, provided the system moved in Karnataka’s direction.
“We were expecting the pressure to have intensified by now, but it hasn’t.

The system is, however, expected to intensify within the next 48 hours. But as the situation stands, the system which is developing close to Andaman Islands is expected to move towards Myanmar, missing mainland peninsular India.

We might however feel the effects of it in South interior Karnataka,” he said, adding that presently, light to moderate rainfall was expected in the Cauvery basin.

He also said that cyclonic systems were expected in the West Coast till the end of December.

“But we can’t expect anything better than the prevailing situation,” he added.

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