Karnataka to commence cloud seeding ops

Karnataka to commence cloud seeding ops

Though cloud seeding operations were to start simultaneously in different parts of the state, ongoing installation of a radar at Gadag district has slightly delayed the operation in northern parts. (DH Photo)

A weak monsoon has forced the state government to undertake cloud seeding operations in parts of Karnataka from Friday. A trial run of the cloud seeding aircraft was done at the HAL Airport in Bengaluru on Thursday.

Speaking to DH, H S Prakash Kumar, Chief Engineer, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department, said two aircraft will take part in cloud seeding operations based on the availability of clouds.

“One of the two aircraft will start operating from Mysuru tomorrow. In a week from now, the second aircraft will be dispatched to Hubballi Airport to take part in cloud seeding in northern parts of the state,” he said.

Though cloud seeding operations were to start simultaneously in different parts of the state, ongoing installation of a radar at Gadag district has slightly delayed the operation in northern parts.

L K Atheeq, Principal Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, took to Twitter to explain about the operations.

Sharing a map of Moisture Adequacy Index of districts in the State, he tweeted, “The priority for #CloudSeeding is determined by looking at soil moisture images taken from the satellite. The yellows and oranges in this map are the moisture stress areas and we will send our aircraft in those regions. It of course also depends on cloud cover.”

During the trial sortie, which lasted 34 minutes, four sodium chloride and potassium chloride flares were burnt. “The aircraft is fitted with flares to fire Sodium Chloride & Potassium Chloride into the clouds. This is called Hygroscopic #CloudSeeding. This is done from below the clouds,” he tweeted.

Kyathi Climate Modification Consultants and US-based Weather Modification Incorporated are undertaking the project at a cost of Rs 45 crore.