Bengaluru: The monsoon in Karnataka has been disappointing this year when it comes to catchment area of rivers. The state government is therefore trying a technique called cloud seeding - a form of changing the amount or type of rain that falls from clouds. The plan has, however, been disrupted due to some turbulence.
"In view of continuous drought in Karnataka, we have decided we should take the help of technology and make serious efforts to mitigate the situation. In 2003, we had an 83-day programme and it was one of the successful programmes I can say. It is for 60 days. Tender has been taken by a company for 35 crores," HK Patil, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister, told media at Jakkur, outside Bengaluru.
"We have got two aircrafts imported for this purpose and three radars from USA. We are tied up with a company called Weather Modification in the US. The aircraft is specially modified for cloud seeding. On each wing you can mount 12 flare rags. These are silver iodide and calcium chloride flares. The pilot and the meteorologist will coordinate. The radar station on the ground will have coordination facility with the aircraft. And the meteorologist will observe which cloud he has to seed. They will direct the pilot accordingly," Srinivasa, Project Coordinator of Hoysala Projects, said.
The radars are based in the agriculture university, GKVK outside Bengaluru and in Shorapur and Gadag.
The project will continue in the days to come based on cloud formation as it needs to look for rain-bearing clouds in drought-hit areas. The central government had earlier this year approved Rs 795.54 crore assistance to the state.