IIT-Kanpur's artificial rain solution for Delhi-NCR pollution
IIT-Kanpur to combat Delhi-NCR air pollution with artificial rain: report
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has reportedly been researching a potential solution to combat the ongoing air pollution crisis in Delhi and its neighboring regions. Their proposal involves using "artificial rains" through a process known as cloud seeding to help disperse pollutants and dust from the atmosphere.
IIT Kanpur has dedicated over five years to create the necessary conditions for generating artificial rain and successfully conducted trials in July. The researchers have obtained essential approvals from government authorities, including the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), for cloud seeding.
While cloud seeding shows promise, it is not without its challenges. Specific meteorological conditions, including the presence of moisture-laden clouds and suitable winds, are required for cloud seeding to be effective. The technique is not yet an exact science, and its feasibility during pre-winter months and on a large scale remains to be determined.
Implementing artificial rain also necessitates securing multiple approvals, including those from the DGCA, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Special Protection Group responsible for the Prime Minister's security, as it involves flying aircraft over the national capital.
According to Manindra Agrawal, a professor at IIT Kanpur, artificial rains could offer temporary relief to residents in the National Capital Region (NCR) who are grappling with poor air quality for up to a week. The method may provide respite from the persistently poor air quality that has plagued the region.
In September, Delhi's Environment Minister Gopal Rai disclosed the city government's intention to explore cloud seeding as part of its winter action plan to combat air pollution. Experts from IIT Kanpur presented the concept of artificial rain, and further discussions are ongoing to assess its feasibility.
The latest air quality data revealed that Delhi's air quality had deteriorated to the "severe plus" category, prompting the enforcement of stringent measures under stage IV of the graded response action plan. These measures include restrictions on the entry of vehicles into Delhi, with exceptions for CNG, electric, and BS VI-compliant vehicles, as well as essential service vehicles. Furthermore, non-essential medium and heavy goods vehicles are barred from entering the capital to mitigate the pollution crisis.