It's June and the Kerala still hasn't received the first rain showers that herald the onset of the Indian monsoon. The Indian Meteorological Department postponed the date by another five days on Tuesday and monsoon all across India is expected to be 'deficient' this year.
But the Maharashtra government seems to have a contingency plan ready. The state's disaster management department has floated tenders for cloud seeding, which will be processed and kept ready if the monsoon fails, according to a report by Hindustan Times. The tender, which was floated last month, will be awarded to a company soon.
Cloud seeding is a form of weather modification that attempts to change the amount and type of precipitation that falls from clouds, that can induce rainfall.
The report quoted Sridutta Kamat, the state project officer at the state Disaster Management Unit (DMU) as saying, "It is a contingency plan that we need to prepare for. There are predictions of 93% long period average (LPA) rainfall. But there is also a possibility of long dry spells as a fall out of the El Nino weather pattern. We need to prepare for that considering many districts are already facing severe water scarcity."
El Nino is an event marked by warming of the sea surface water in the Pacific Ocean that can lead to droughts and in April, the weather office had forecast less than usual rainfall as a result.
However, Kamat added that the DMU will wait till the monsoon sets in completely across the state and the decision on cloud seeding will only be taken when the possibility of a normal monsoon is ruled out , the report continued. It usually takes about a month for monsoon to set all across Maharashtra.
Updated Date: Jun 02, 2015 17:11:55 IST