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The operation may tentatively cost the government
Rs. 25 crore
HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh has decided to continue the cloud-seeding operations for the sixth consecutive time this year from July 20, more so in the light of the prolonged dry spell in several districts.
Agni Aviation, which undertook the operations in the State all these yeas, is “most likely” to be chosen to implement for the operations this year too with a budget tentatively put at Rs. 25 crore.Government panel
Indications were available to this effect on Thursday following scrutiny of the bids submitted by three companies, including Agni Aviation, offering to undertake the contract, by the government committee headed by principal secretary, Rain Shadow Areas Development, R. S. Goel. The committee comprises seven others as members, including M. Satya Kumar, director, State Met Office, Hyderabad, and scientists from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune.
As in the past, the exercise will be undertaken under the supervision of the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences & Weather Modification, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. Andhra Pradesh has suffered a rainfall deficit of 47 per cent so far, with the monsoon playing hide and seek during the crucial period of kharif.
Mr. Goel told The Hindu that the cloud-seeding operations were conducted in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh through the same agency in 2003 following a similar dry spell “but now, only AP is taking it up.”
Plans have been finalised to conduct the operations up to November-end, covering both South-West and North-East monsoons, tentatively from July 20. This time, three Cessna aircraft will be used to get maximum benefit within a limited period from rain-bearing clouds.
Also, a decision has been taken to seed “only warm clouds this year too where temperature will be more than 1 degree Celsius”, leaving out cold clouds (temperature less than 1 degree C.).
To begin with, the districts of Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Ranga Reddy, Karimanagar, Medak, Kurnool, Kadapa, Anatnapur, Chittoor, Guntur and Prakasam will be covered.
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