cloud-seedingMCGM held a demonstration of its aircraft cloud seeding at the Modak Sagar in the city. While MCGM is claiming that its past experiments have proved to be successful, Mumbai city might still be in the grip of acute water crisis if the rain gods do not pour down. Traveling at a speed of 300 km per hour, it takes about 25 minutes for the aircraft to reach over lake Modak Sagar from Nashik. Then from the bottom of the cloud, the compound mixture is sprayed in the nuclei of the cloud to conduct the cloud seeding experiement at a height of 4000ft. This is the aircraft cloud seeding experiment that MCGM has been conducting since August 23. Till date the civic body has conducted 21 such sicentifc rain augmentation experiments with the help of the Piper Cheyenne aircraft that has been chartered from the US, over the four lakes, which supply water to the city. In the last 17 days MCGM has claimed that water level at Tansa has risen to 144.19 million cubic meter, while water levels at Modak Sagar and Upper Vaitarna have risen to 186.04 million cubic meter and 207.28 million cubic meter respectively. Water levels in Bhatsa have risen to 603.07 million cubic meter. According to the data available with the civic officials, lake levels and the total rainfall has got a boost since the scientific experiment commenced from Augst 23. While the DMC of MCGM Pramod Charankar said that the experiements have definitely increased the stock in the lakes, the entire process is a very diffcult one. The seven-seater flight is prepared in Ojhar in Nashik with seeding material filled in the flares. When it is ready to take off, the pilot gives a signal to retired wing commander who has been roped in by the Agni Aviation who after studying the cloud situation gives a green signal. After the signal, the flight flies over Modak Sagar firing flames, a demonstration of which was seen recently at Modak Sagar. Capt Arvind Sharma, the Agni Aviation Officer informed that the process generally takes a week to show results. He further said that the best time for cloud seeding is the pre-monsoon and the post monsoon months, the time when black clouds are visible in the sky. The aritifical cloud seeding experiments have become more of a do or die situation for MCGM to resolve the water crisis in the city. Confirming the crisis looming over the city, MCGM Commissioner Dr. Jairaj Pathak informed that lakes of the city have only 75 days of water and if the rain gods or the artificial cloud seeding does not go through then it would be a tough time ahead for Mumbaikars. With cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi, Hansraj Kanaujia for NMTV News.

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