China offers to bring artificial rain in drought-hit Maharashtra

Beijing: Bringing in a new ray of hope, China has offered to help India create artificial rain in its drought-hit regions. China has offered to share its cloud seeding technology with India, which could be used to artificially induce rain in drought-affected regions.

China has been using cloud seeding since 1958 to not only alter weather conditions but also clear air pollution. The process was famously implemented in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics to clear the city’s notorious smog and ensure weeks of “clear blue sky”.

Cloud seeding, a technique mastered by the Chinese, is a form of climate modification that is used to form rain by either using artilleries to fire shells containing rain-inducing chemicals into the cloud cover or by dropping the said chemicals from an aircraft. A team of top meteorological scientists from Beijing, Shanghai and Anhui are in Mumbai to study drought patterns in Maharashtra, where the first such project is likely to be implemented.

The offer to share the technology free of cost was made during Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Shanghai secretary, Han Zheng’s visit to India earlier this month. During a meeting with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Han offered Chinese assistance in mitigating the drought situation in the state. The offer attains significance because China has historically not been keen on sharing this technology with other nations.