Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 | Last Update : 01:22 AM IST

CPCB mulls ‘artificial rain’ in Delhi to tackle pollution

AGE CORRESPONDENT WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published : Nov 7, 2018, 12:43 am IST
Updated : Nov 7, 2018, 12:43 am IST

Proposal to ban entry of heavy vehicles in capital after Diwali.

 The protesters asked the government to stop stubble burning in areas surrounding Delhi. (Representational image)
  The protesters asked the government to stop stubble burning in areas surrounding Delhi. (Representational image)

New Delhi: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is mulling inducing artificial rain in Delhi after Diwali to wash away hazardous pollutants that is plaguing the national capital. The CPCB also appealed to people to avoid the use of diesel private
cars.

A senior CPCB official said they are in talks with the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) for inducing artificial rain after Diwali when the pollution is expected to reach “severe-plus emergency” stage.

The official said they are waiting for meteorological conditions to become stable and then use cloud seeding for inducing artificial rain.

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 the clouds and increase the chance of rain or snowfall.

With Delhi’s air quality recorded in ‘very poor’ category on Tuesday as wind continued to blow from regions where there is rampant stubble burning, the CPCB on Tuesday also recommended to the authorities that the entry of heavy vehicles in Delhi must be banned for two days after Diwali when the air quality is expected to deteriorate further to “severe” level.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) held a meeting with the transport authorities and advised them to ban the entry of heavy vehicles from November 8 to 10, Prashant Gargava, member secretary of the statutory organisation under the environment ministry said. The recommendation was made in view of the heavy pollution caused by such vehicles, which might add to the woes of the national capital which is already battling alarming levels of pollution, another CPCB official said.

Delhi’s air quality is expected to deteriorate to ‘severe plus emergency’ category after Diwali on November 8 even if “partial toxic crackers” are burned compared to last year, the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (Safar) said.

“Even if 50 per cent of a total load of toxic firecrackers as compared to Diwali-2017 is added, the prevailing weather conditions will aggravate the high smoke level and make air quality to persist in severe range for at least two days on November 8 and November 9,” Safar said in a report. Meanwhile, a group of people gathered outside the office of the Environment Ministry on Tuesday, demanding clean air and quick implementation of the National Clean Air Programme that will help in combatting the alarming rise in the pollution level that has raised health concerns.

The protesters held placards displaying messages like “Delhi air is poisonous”, “breathing is killing me”, “#My Right to Breathe” and “Unbreathable India” outside the Indira Paryavaran Bhawan.

 The protesters asked the government to stop stubble burning in areas surrounding Delhi. In NCR, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, Greater Noida and Gurgaon also recorded “very poor” air quality.

Tags: delhi pollution, national clean air programme, artificial rain, delhi pollution level