Artificial rain likely to clear Delhi air of pollutants

A pedestrian covers his face with a handkerchief for protection against air pollution, in New Delhi. (PTI File Photo)

In the wake of rising pollution in the city, authorities might seed clouds to induce artificial rain this week to wash away toxic pollutants in the air.

Delhi's air quality has deteriorated to alarming levels in the past three weeks.

Cloud seeding for artificial rain would be done once the meteorological conditions are stable, a senior official said.

He said plans are to induce rainfall this week, but if the meteorological conditions are not found suitable then it would be done next week.

Cloud seeding is the process of combining different kinds of chemical agents, including silver iodide, dry ice and even common table salt, with existing clouds in an effort to thicken them and increase the chance of rainfall.

The weathermen are monitoring conditions to become favourable for creating artificial rain, which can be induced in 24 hours, the official said.

Delhi's air quality was recorded in the 'very poor' category on Tuesday due to humidity and slow wind speed.

The overall air quality index was recorded at 352, which falls in the 'very poor' category, according to Central Pollution Control Board data.

In 2016, the government tried to explore the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain but the plan never worked out.

Last year, the government had proposed the possibility of reducing dust by watering Delhi from a helicopter to Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan.

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Artificial rain likely to clear Delhi air of pollutants

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