As the air quality in Delhi deteriorates to severe levels, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has put forward a potential solution. They propose the generation of "artificial rains" to effectively cleanse the atmosphere of pollutants and dust. This pragmatic approach holds promise for improving the region's air quality concerns and offering respite to the residents contending with ongoing air pollution challenges in and around Delhi.
Manindra Agrawal, a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Kanpur told the Economic Times, that artificial rain, has the potential to offer temporary relief lasting approximately a week to the residents of the National Capital Region (NCR) who are in urgent need of clean and breathable air, as per a report by the financial daily.
Artificial rain implementation relies on precise meteorological prerequisites, including the presence of moisture-laden clouds and favorable wind conditions. While cloud seeding and the generation of artificial rain are not precise sciences, it is still uncertain whether these methods can effectively function during the pre-winter months or on a larger scale.
As per the report, the IIT Kanpur researchers have obtained government permissions, including clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), for cloud seeding. "We have the necessary permissions from government authorities to fly the plane with cloud seeding attachment," Agrawal stated.
In September, the Delhi Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, announced that the city administration was gearing up to experiment with cloud seeding as part of its winter strategy to address air pollution.
Meanwhile, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has invoked Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the National Capital Region to combat deteriorating air quality. Hospitals in the region are witnessing a rise in patients with breathing problems and certain infrastructural projects have been put on halt.