Artificial rain planned for next week
According to a local media outlet, Lahore won’t be getting artificial rain this month. Earlier, caretaker CM Punjab Mohsin had announced that the provincial capital could experience artificial rain on November 29 if conditions are favorable.
However, their plan has been delayed for up to six weeks due to technical challenges, hindering the execution of artificial rain in Lahore this month. Furthermore, the provincial authorities aren’t entirely satisfied with the performance of experts involved in the project.
Additionally, the non-availability of the Punjab government’s aircraft significantly contributed to the delay in artificial rain. As per details, the aircraft has been grounded for several months due to maintenance issues.
As an alternative, the provincial government has reportedly approached a Dubai-based company with expertise in cloud ionization and cloud seeding.
If things go as planned, the foreign company will be tasked with conducting cloud ionization and cloud seeding at five designated locations in Lahore. According to experts, the process of artificial rain involves an aircraft spraying sodium chloride at an altitude of three to four thousand feet to initiate the formation of rain clouds.
It is important to note that the artificial rain initiative is one of the solutions of the provincial government to reduce smog. Earlier, the caretaker CM had announced the closure of schools and markets, along with other orders.
Punjab government had sought advice from experts to finalise a comprehensive plan for artificial rain to counter smog.
According to sources, experts of geography, chemistry and environment shared suggestions for the initiative in a meeting presided over by Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman.
Under the proposed plan, salt will be sprayed on clouds from a plane whenever the weather in Lahore would be cloudy.
Officials from several government departments were invited to the meeting to discuss the strategy.
The university professors
who had already done experiments and preparations for the purpose were also invited.Punjab University Geography Department Chairman Dr Munawar Sabir and professors from the Islamia and Bahauddin Zakria University discussed how artificial rain could be successfully caused.
A participant told The Express Tribune that all experts and officials present in the meeting were satisfied that the experiment of artificial rain would be successful.
“The most positive thing was the commitment and seriousness of all the government officials who in the past had not taken seriously the proposal of artificial rain. It appears that the experiment will be successful,” the sources said.
They said the government intended to involve all the experts during the process.
However, the crucial factor is the weather conditions on the particular day. Weather conditions ideal for artificial rain are not expected during the ongoing week.
The government hopes to call the weather and other experts next week for the purpose.
“If we succeed and rain for only half an hour is triggered in the city, it can give us relief from the toxic smog,” said the participant of the meeting.
In absence of rain, the smog and air pollution level in the city is likely to worsen.
The smog has already expanded to several other districts.
The high density of smog in various parts of the city has also lead to an increase in the number of citizens visiting hospitals for treatment of diseases caused by air pollution in Lahore and other cities.