Agriculture World

Maharashtra Government Plans Cloud Seeding in Drought-hit Regions

cloud seeding

The Maharashtra government has decided to go for ‘cloud seeding’ as the situation in the state is becoming worse due to deficient monsoon.

18 districts, mainly in Vidarbha and Marathwada, are experiencing monsoon deficit of 20 to 51 %. Between 1 and 14 July, Vidarbha had received 212.1 mm rainfall compared to 303.5 mm while Marathwada received 144.9 mm against the normal of 210.5 mm rainfall.

Jaydatta Kshirsagar, State Minister of Employment Guarantee & Horticulture while talking to media said that Maharashtra government will implement the cloud-seeding method to deal with deficient rainfall in Solapur, Aurangabad and Ahmednagar after 22 July. The State government has already allotted Rs.30 crore for the project.

Another Minister, Babanrao Lonikar said that the Maharashtra has the permission of the Central government to move ahead with artificial rainfall. The State will keep ready the Sea band Doppler radar & a plane at Aurangabad.

It is important to mention that Marathwada dams have only 0.8 % storage as compared to 14.02 % in July last year. On the other hand Dams in Vidarbha have 8.68 % water. If compared to 33.48% water storage in all the dams in July 2018, dams in Maharashtra hold just 21.42 % storage this year.

Poor rainfall has also affected sowing of kharif crops in Maharashtra. Against the 140.68 lakh hectares, (average area for the kharif crop), only 84.24 lakh hectares has been sown till 10 July.

26 of the 36 districts (72 %) are facing water shortage and due to this crop failure has extended over 85.76 lakh hectares - affecting 82 lakh farmers.



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