Govt mulls use of cloud seeding technology for artificial rains in Karachi

Published: June 23, 2015
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PHOTO COURTESY ATHAR HUSSAIN

PHOTO COURTESY ATHAR HUSSAIN

With an aim to generate artificial rainfall in parts of Sindh witnessing an intense heatwave, the government is now mulling the use of cloud seeding technology, Express News reported. 

Talking to the media, Director General Ports and Shipping Abdul Malik Ghauri said all arrangements had been made in this regard. However, Ghauri said a meeting of all stakeholders would evolve consensus on the matter before any decision is taken.

Further, Ghauri said that while the ministry is mulling over the idea, it would not be possible before July 1 due to technical reasons.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the civil aviation, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, maritime agency, meteorological department, business community and Karachi commissioner.

Ghauri that they would seek assistance from the aviation division of the Pakistan Army to materialise the idea.

In cloud seeding technology, a rocket propelled by sugar is fired at the clouds to generate rains. In this scenario, the government would like to acquire 60 to 65 millimeter of rain from clouds some 2,500 to 3,000 feet about the ground. Sindh receives 176 millimeter of rain in an entire year.

Ghauri went on to highlight how Pakistan’s neighbouring countries now have designated institutions to study ‘cloud seeding’ technology.

Meanwhile, speaking to The Express Tribune, an official of the metrological office, Abdul Qayyum Bhutto confirmed that a decision on the subject has not been made yet and talks are under way.

“The system is not only costly but also has unforeseen environmental effects,” he said.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • Khan
    Jun 23, 2015 - 4:05PM

    The system is not only costly but also has unforeseen environmental effects

    Utter lies!! The system is used around the world, including UAE & Malaysia. It just that you are incompetent to do it that you are making excuses!!Recommend

  • Nouman
    Jun 23, 2015 - 4:40PM

    @Khan:

    The system really IS costly and has unforeseen environmental AND health effects. You are disturbing nature by generating artificial rain. You are disturbing the natural, water cycle by introducing artificial flavors.

    The best and the only solution is to accept the environment as it is and modify our habits according to it. We cannot fight nature for life.

    We (humans) can adopt ourself to nature. Nature cannot and will not adopt itself to us (humans).Recommend

  • Burki
    Jun 23, 2015 - 4:43PM

    Dear Government, please take your time and continue “mulling over” the idea for another 3,4 weeks, there is no need to rush. We the common people have other pressing issues to deal with such as crimes, load shedding, water etc. hence we don’t mind continue dying due to this oppressive heatwave while Your Highness sit in those airconditioned well decorated plush comfy rooms and “mull” over the idea. We know you have only our best interest on your mind.Recommend

  • Jamshed M
    Jun 23, 2015 - 4:54PM

    Artificial rain is never used to cool down temperature but to deal with the drought. What will this artificial rain do? give rain for few hours? what then? you gonna use seeding everyday?. Dont know which idiot advised them to use seeding to cool down the temperature. Recommend

  • Mrs Juicy Gossips
    Jun 23, 2015 - 4:58PM

    @Nouman: Is it more costly than the death of 500 innocent souls ??? And what exactly are those arcane environmental and health costs ? That is simply hogwash as cloud seeding is a tested and proven procedure. It takes a lot lot more than sending a few planes up in the sky to chemically induce rain to rock Mother Nature off its kilter !Recommend

  • Burki
    Jun 23, 2015 - 5:17PM

    @Nouman: Seeding is a reliable and mature technology that has been used in various parts of the world in past many decades without any considerable harmful effects to the environment or to humans. Human cause lot more damage to the environment through all kinds of chemicals that we continue to emit into air, yet we’re still around.Recommend

  • Rashid
    Jun 23, 2015 - 5:22PM

    Our neighboring country china has the largest cloud seeding system in the world that has practically increases the amount of rain over several increasingly arid regions, including its capital city. The authorities should request the Chinese govt for an immediate assistance instead of wasting time on debates and meetings. Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jun 23, 2015 - 6:04PM

    @Khan:

    Utter lies!! The system is used around the world

    Good thinking! But not to forget that first the clouds must contain the sufficient water in the firs place. Also Pakistan air space is cnstantly violated by more than one country and they have the technology to move away the clouds from the cities. This is commonly used in industrialised countries to prevent rain falls on wine producing fields just before the harvest period.
    As a matter of interest what do the Pakistani students learn in science universities?

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Khan
    Jun 23, 2015 - 6:39PM

    @Nouman:

    So you think the world is crazy and we are the only smart ones, thus we reject the technology? This mentality & thought is the ONE reason why our country is not progressing, we outright reject everything before giving it a try.

    Malaysian government last year successfully used cloud seeding to prevent catastrophic drought in their most populated state. They used cloud seeding when ever possible for a period of 2 months.Recommend

  • Giggli (Akhand Pakistan)
    Jun 23, 2015 - 7:02PM

    Is this same as cloud computing? Recommend

  • Ajmal
    Jun 23, 2015 - 7:21PM

    Only Allah can make rain.Recommend

  • adnan
    Jun 23, 2015 - 7:59PM

    In another news govt mulls on idea of increasing power generation for the country, cause that’s the only thing the govt do, it thinks it considers, it calls onthe stakeholders hold meetings have lunches brunches expensive dinners lavish iftar parties and that is it.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jun 23, 2015 - 8:28PM

    @Rashid:
    Your Government should first prevent the aeroplanes and drones which receive and transmit electronic signals which cause unusual eruptions in the climate and rain falls.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Ranjha
    Jun 23, 2015 - 8:28PM

    @Khan:

    The idea of a mass prayer led by Pious E Azam, Hazrat Aamir Liaquat Sahib, is more scientific, economic and environment friendly. He can be given this daily charge as State Minister in the Ministry of Lies, Hopes and Prayers, reporting directly to Honourable Nikola Tesla aka Khawaja AsIf.Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Jun 23, 2015 - 9:21PM

    It ain’t new science – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_seeding. Rather than talk/debate why not try it .. it’s not expensive and has no downside.Recommend

  • Zaheer
    Jun 23, 2015 - 9:34PM

    One important thing we all think about is that Karachi has become the most polluted city in the country thanx to our politicians, governments, industrialists and people who are busy in increasing their income but failed to take environment friendly steps. I remember there were a lot of trees planted across the roads in the city mostly of which were chopped by the shopkeepers and remaining by defunct KMC, KESC and others. The need of hour is to plant maximum siplings in the city and avoid cutting of trees in the metropolis as the matter is very serious and need proper law for protection of trees and mangroves to reduce environmental pollution and keep the city green and greener which would be helpful in reducing heatwave and there will be no need for cloud seeding or artificial rain.Recommend

  • Hussain
    Jun 23, 2015 - 9:44PM

    They are still deciding whilst 750 already dead. All these ministers should be shot dead starting with Qaim ali shah. Perhaps they may do something out of fear of losing lifeRecommend

  • Shabana
    Jun 23, 2015 - 9:48PM

    Read this again wrote by Jamshid Above

    Artificial rain is never used to cool down temperature but to deal with the drought. What will this artificial rain do? give rain for few hours? what then? you gonna use seeding everyday?. Dont know which idiot advised them to use seeding to cool down the temperature.Recommend

  • Mrs Juicy Gossips
    Jun 23, 2015 - 10:20PM

    @Shabana: For the interim its better than doing nothing. And as another poster stated, a more longer term solution would be the planting of trees and generally making Karachi and its surrounds more greener.Recommend

  • Nouman
    Jun 23, 2015 - 10:25PM

    The world is not progressing Khan. Neither of any country has stated that artificial rain is the solution to this. They just try it. This heat wave has occured for the first time in Pakistan, even in India. The basic reason reason behind it is global warming. I am not talking in air. Global warming is creating such issues. We might also see a massive glacier melt this year, causing floods and droughts. The solution will not be to fight against floods, because we can’t fight against nature. I repeat, we have to adopt ourself to nature, rather than fighting against it (with all the artificial methods we humans have created). We need to submit to nature. Because that’s the sensible solution.

    We need to fight against the causes of global warming, not nature. This artificial rain and methods will do no wonders, infact will add up to the mess we humans have already created. We need to STOP people using massive concrete all around, we need to stop people moving blidnly to urbanization. We need to ask Chinese stop this massive industrialization, which is causing global warming. WE humans need to take a pause and think what’s happening around. We need to find the root cause and eliminate it. Without doing so, we will keep fighting to our deaths.Recommend

  • zain
    Jun 23, 2015 - 11:05PM

    I would not recommend tinkering with nature. We should recognize that we are not Gods. Problem is not the heat wave its the lack of infrastructure in country to sustain the population and environment. People are malnutrition, country and cities lacks cooling stations, lack of proper sanitations, lacks proper hospitals and educational institutions. Even if you bring forth the rain people are still gonna die because of above said reason. Also, cloud seeding technology is not yet used on wide areas as they are still under study and ofcourse tinkering with nature will have life threatening consequences in the future.Recommend

  • josh
    Jun 23, 2015 - 11:45PM

    @Khan:
    My dear friend this is Karachi we are taking about, have you seen the storm drains lately? The number of buildings and the small sewage pipes, which result in overflowing gutters, plus the electricity lines that are very fragile, don’t you remember the heavy rains which caused allot of problems, was more harmful than helpful,
    So seeding a cloud can you tell the rain to stop? Can you tell it to rain only 2cm?Recommend

  • goodDeedsLeadTo
    Jun 24, 2015 - 2:21AM

    Dallas climate changed after every household was required to grow at least two trees. And, what changes the climate is growing plenty of trees.
    Dallas used to be very dry and you could see big scary looking cracks in the ground due to dryness.
    Now Dallas gets at least 5 to 10 snowfalls, and is green & beautiful. And, we see trees and green grass everywhere.Recommend

  • AA
    Jun 24, 2015 - 2:43AM

    @Rex Minor:
    I heard that, its called “TUG-Planes.” They tie a cloud to a plane tail and fly it to another area so the Vineyards receive no rain. Hey, pretty cool isn’t it. We should actually use this technology to import some clouds from Indonesia too, and then seed them. How about that? I know !!! geniuses are born not made !!!! By the way its TRex, consider that for your name Minor. Recommend

  • Salman Sharif
    Jun 24, 2015 - 8:10AM

    Can you please elaborate the usage of sugar propelled rocket for artificial rain? I think it is silver Iodide which is fired over 10,000 feet from the ground. I think you need to conduct some research on this topic before posting stuff like this.Recommend

  • musa ali khan
    Jun 25, 2015 - 9:08AM

    They are not mulling over for rain but they are much interested that how much money they will win for their pockets through this project. Recommend

  • Timorlane
    Jun 25, 2015 - 8:35PM

    Zardari gang thieves will steal money allocated for artificial rain tooRecommend

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