In the wake of rising pollution level in the national capital, centre is planning to induce artificial rain this week to wash away toxic pollutants from the air, a minister said. Delhi's air quality has deteriorated to alarming levels in the past three weeks.
Air quality in Delhi today was again recorded in the poor category. At Lodhi road area, the Air Quality Index (AQI) PM 2.5 was at 273 (poor category) and PM 10 at 266 (poor category) according to the news agency ANI.
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Cloud seeding for artificial rain would be done once the meteorological conditions are stable, a senior official said. “Plans are to induce rainfall this week, but if the meteorological conditions are not found suitable then it would be done next week,” he said.
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.
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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Delhi is reeling under the menace of air pollution from the past couple of years. The region faced a major air quality crisis last year when severe pollution level forced shutdown of schools and colleges.