New Delhi (Sputnik): Meteorologists are waiting for favourable weather conditions to induce rainfall over Delhi in order to relieve the city of toxic air pollution, according to a senior minister in Narendra Modi's Cabinet.
For two weeks, India has been considering using cloud seeding to create artificial rain over the nation's capital Delhi to mitigate worsening air pollution levels, but the process has yet to start, as the pre-requisite cloud and humidity level is currently insufficient. The cloud seeding technology currently available in India can only induce potential pre-existing clouds, hence the delay in launching the operation.
In the process of cloud seeding, chemical agents such as silver iodide, dry ice, and table salt are combined with existing clouds to thicken them to induce rainfall.
"Increasing air pollution is a major concern for a developing country like India. The central government has decided that if the air quality index crosses the 500 mark then they will ask authorities to induce artificial rain or cloud seeding over the national capital. Our scientists and authorities are working round the clock to curb this. All requisite preparations for artificial rains are underway," Minister for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma said.
According to a report recently published by by Chicago University's Energy Policy Institute, India is the world's second-most-polluted country. This has reduced the average life expectancy of the nation's citizens by at least four years and that of a person residing in Delhi by ten years.