How IIT Kanpur scientists are planning to curb pollution in Uttar Pradesh

Just a few days after Delhi was declared a 'gas chamber' choking its own citizens, now the western city of Lucknow is going through its worst phase of consistent bad air quality.

While residents have been requesting the government to devise a way to curn the unrelenting smog, IIT Kanpur researchers already seem to have a plan - creating artificial rains through cloud-seeding. It’s a practice of artificially inducing or increasing precipitation through clouds by adding external agents. This stimulation is done by aeroplanes or rockets.

Pollution levels in several cities of the north western state of Uttar Pradesh were recently declared ‘dangerously polluted’. Varanasi was declared the most polluted city in the country. A report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has found that the air quality of holy city Varanasi is most polluted among the 42 cities monitored recently.

Following this, the Director of IIT Kanpur, Manindra Agarwal told the media that the state government has asked the civil aviation ministry for its approval regarding artificial rains since the area where artificial rains are required need cloud cover.

IIT Kanpur was given a grant of Rs 15 lakh from the state government to experiment on the option of artificial rains. The scientists have finished their experiments and are ready to execute.

The UP residents therefore will soon see airplanes flying over Lucknow to create artificial rains to bring down the pollution levels.

IIT-K has even agreed to modify its six-seater Cessna aircraft to load it with salt for being dropped on the high altitude 'supercooled' clouds.

“The measure will definitely reduce air pollution levels. Aerospace, civil engineering and industrial management engineering departments are working on this project,” said Agarwal.

How far will this help bring the pollution levels down in Uttar Pradesh, and the rest of the country is being questioned by human rights organisations across India.
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