The State Cabinet on Tuesday cleared the proposal to implement the aerial cloud seeding procedure to tackle drought.
“Most parts of the State are already facing the problem of water shortage and availability of water for agriculture could be a major cause for worry in future. Among the steps being discussed to tackle the situation is cloud seeding. The process, however, needs pre-planning and monitoring of usable clouds,” said an official with the Relief and Rehabilitation Department. The State has allocated ₹30 crore for the project.
According to the government, foreign countries have witnessed a rise in rainfall ranging from 28% to 43%. The process will be implemented in Marathwada, Vidarbha and parts of western Maharashtra. The Sea band doppler radar and a plane will be kept ready at Aurangabad for the purpose. The experiment will be carried out only if this year’s monsoon is below average. It will also help areas where the Jalyukta Shivar works have been completed, said the official.
Sadabhau Khot, Minister of State for Water Supply, said the State government has given directions to supply tankers considering the current population of the area and not as per the 2011 census. “We have been receiving complaints of inadequate water supply in many areas. It was found that water was supplied based on the 2011 census data. The population has increased since then and therefore, we have decided to supply tankers as per the present population,” he said.
Meanwhile, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Chandrakant Patil on Tuesday said 6,209 tankers have been deployed to provide water in 4,920 villages and 10,506 hamlets. A total of 10.04 lakh cattle is being admitted to fodder camps in the State.
The government has released ₹111 crore for the Auranagabad division, ₹47 crore for Nashik and ₹4 crore for the Pune division for fodder camps. Apart from cattle, the State will also set up fodder camps for sheep and goats. The Cabinet on Tuesday announced the decision to provide water through tankers in fodder camps for cattle.