20:35 GMT +314 December 2018
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    Scientists Waiting For Favourable Weather to Induce Artificial Rain Over Delhi

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    The Indian capital has been reeling due to a dangerously high level of air pollution for many years. The authorities have been considering using artificial rain to contain the problem, but the cloud seeding technology currently available in India can only coax pre-existing clouds, hence the delay in launching the operation.

    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.

    READ MORE: Delhi Pushes Emergency Button as Air Pollution Soars

    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.

    READ MORE: New Delhi Roads Get Improvised Gadgets for Smog Control

    According to data from the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi's overall air quality index was recorded at 352 on Tuesday, which falls in the ‘very poor' category.

    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.

    Related:

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    Delhi Planning Artificial Rains to Tackle its Pollution Mess
    ‘Banning Firecrackers is Not the Answer to Delhi’s Pollution,’ Says UN Envoy
    Public Health Emergency: New Delhi Pollution Reaches ‘Uncontrollable Levels’
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    life threat, artificial, rain, air pollution, India, Delhi
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