The Devendra Fadnavis-led government had carried out a similar exercise in 2015.
Mumbai: The BJP-led state government is planning to use cloud seeding to induce artificial rain in order to provide respite to distressed farmers of drought-affected regions.
A senior bureaucrat told The Asian Age, the relief and rehabilitation department has moved a proposal in this regard with the finance department for its approval. Maharashtra is said to be facing its worst drought since 1972. Sources in Mantralaya said that cloud seeding would cost approximately Rs 30 crore. The Devendra Fadnavis-led government had carried out a similar exercise in 2015.
Officials said that cloud seeding would be carried out only if the monsoon proves unfavourable in the state.
Skymet Weather Services’ forecast has predicated that the state’s Vidarbha and Marathwada regions may receive poor rainfall this year. Last week, the private weather forecaster had predicted that these regions might experience a below-normal or deficient monsoon.
“Vidarbha and Marathwada will also receive below-average rainfall this monsoon season, which will be a huge risk for agriculture in these regions. In both regions, the rainfall will be deficient by 30 per cent,” Mahesh Palawat, vice-president, Skymet Weather had said.
Officials said that weather forecasters have claimed that monsoon would be delayed in the state.
The bureaucrat said, “The process has been begun for cloud seeding. Once the finance department approves it, the file will be sent to the Cabinet for its approval. After this, a tender will be invited for the agency that conducts cloud seeding.”
Sources said that if the government wants to carry out cloud seeding, it has to be done in July and August as the better clouds formation will lead to good rainfall. Cloud seeding has been done in India since 1960.
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