Several areas in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, and the surrounding regions of the National Capital Region (NCR) experienced rainfall during the night between Thursday and Friday, providing a much-needed reprieve from the recent deterioration in air quality.
The occurrence of showers in the national capital aligns with the city government’s ongoing exploration of ‘artificial rain’ as a strategy to address the pollution crisis.
Observations from Kartavya Path, ITO, and the Delhi-Noida border revealed light to moderate-intensity rain showers. Concurrently, the Air Quality Index (AQI) at various monitoring stations in Delhi recorded levels below 100 in the morning, marking a significant improvement from the 400+ AQI observed at night.
The Regional Weather Forecasting Centre (RWFC) predicted intermittent light rain over Delhi-NCR and adjacent areas, including Rajiv Chowk, ITO, India Gate, Akshardham, Safdarjung, RK Puram, and Lajpat Nagar on Friday morning.
Areas anticipated to receive rainfall include Noida, Dadri, Greater Noida, Faridabad, Jind, Panipat, Mattanhail, Jhajjar, Farukhnagar, Kosali, Mahendargarh, Narnaul, Hodal (Haryana), Meerut, Modinagar, Kithor, Bulandshahar, Jahangirabad, Anupshahar, Bahajoi, Pahasu, Debai, Narora, Gabhana, Atrauli, and Aligarh.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai convened a meeting with a team from IIT-Kanpur on Wednesday to explore the feasibility of artificial rainfall through cloud seeding, with a potential implementation date of November 20-21 if weather conditions permit.
Demonstrating its commitment to combat hazardous air pollution, the Delhi government has decided to bear the entire cost of artificial rain. The chief secretary has been tasked with presenting the government’s position before the Supreme Court on Friday.
If supported by the Centre, the Delhi government aims to initiate artificial rain in the city by November 20, according to statements made by officials on Thursday.
The process of artificial rain through cloud seeding involves dispersing substances into the air to induce condensation, leading to precipitation. Common substances used for cloud seeding include silver iodide, potassium iodide, and dry ice, serving as nuclei for water vapor condensation and ultimately resulting in rain or snow. This technique has been employed globally, especially in regions grappling with water scarcity or drought conditions.