Delhi Government to Utilize Cloud Seeding to Combat Pollution

The Delhi Government has announced its adoption of cloud seeding technology as part of its efforts to combat pollution and enhance precipitation. This technology aims to induce rainfall during low precipitation seasons, potentially aiding in pollution reduction.

Cloud Seeding Explained:

  • Cloud seeding involves the introduction of precipitation-inducing substances into clouds, typically via aircraft, to expedite the natural precipitation process.
  • This technique utilizes aeroplane-mounted jets to disperse chemicals such as common salt or silver iodide into moisture-laden clouds, encouraging the formation of raindrops.
  • While cloud seeding is already in use in countries like the United States, China, and Dubai, it will now be implemented in Delhi as part of various employment generation, skill development, and environmentally friendly projects.

Image Credit: Hindustan Times

Delhi’s Seasonal Consideration:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal highlighted the potential use of cloud seeding technology, especially during the winter season. Experts note that cloud seeding has limited success in reducing pollution during the winter months.

The cloud seeding technology being considered for Delhi is being developed by IIT Kanpur. Its objective is to enable precipitation during periods of low rainfall, which could contribute to pollution mitigation.

Environmental Initiatives:

In discussions with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Chief Minister Kejriwal explored various topics, including infrastructure, employment, and pollution. The CII proposed collaboration with the CSR fund to support road beautification projects. The AAP leader also mentioned the task of rationalizing circle rates for industrial and commercial land, which is entrusted to the Minister of Revenue, Atishi, to promote the development of new industries.

Green Building Initiatives: Kejriwal discussed “green buildings” with the trade association, aiming to reduce the costs associated with making schools and roadways more environmentally friendly.

Cloud Seeding History:

  • India’s experience with cloud seeding dates back to 1983 when Tamil Nadu used it during a severe drought. Various states have since employed cloud seeding to induce rainfall.
  • Chemical substances like silver iodide, dry ice, and table salt are disseminated from aircraft to appropriate clouds to enhance precipitation.
  • IIT Kanpur successfully tested cloud seeding to generate artificial rain in June of the current year. The experiment involved a Cessna plane flying at around 5,000 feet, resulting in rainfall induced by cloud seeding.

Previous Attempts:

Although cloud seeding experiments were conducted in Delhi by IIT-Kanpur in 2018 and 2019, they faced challenges due to weather conditions, including low moisture levels during Delhi’s winter. As a result, further projects were not pursued.


Delhi’s adoption of cloud seeding technology underscores its commitment to exploring innovative solutions to combat pollution and enhance precipitation levels, particularly during low rainfall seasons.

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