As Delhi’s air quality slides back towards ‘severe’, authorities may induce artificial rain over NCR this week

New Delhi: In the wake of rising pollution in the national capital, authorities might seed clouds to induce artificial rain this week in a bid to wash away toxic pollutants in the air. Delhi’s air quality has deteriorated to alarming levels in the past three weeks.

Cloud seeding for artificial rain would be done once the meteorological conditions are stable, a senior official said. He added that plans are to induce rainfall this week but if the meteorological conditions are not found suitable then it would be done next week.

Traffic policemen wear masks to protect themselves from heavy smog in Delhi. PTI

Traffic policemen wear masks to protect themselves from heavy smog in Delhi. PTI

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 further said.

Delhi's air quality was recorded in the ‘very poor’ category on Tuesday due to humidity and slow wind speed.

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 352, which falls in the 'very poor' category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board data.

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.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Nov 20, 2018 14:36:21 IST