In a bid to combat the alarming rise in air pollution levels, the Delhi government has revealed plans to induce artificial rain in the national capital. However, the implementation of this initiative is contingent upon acquiring numerous permissions from Union ministries, a task deemed challenging by the authorities.
The Supreme Court, hearing a batch of petitions addressing concerns about the escalating air pollution crisis in Delhi and neighboring states, urged the Delhi government to approach the Centre for necessary permissions. The court questioned the need for its interference in the matter, emphasizing the importance of obtaining clearances from relevant ministries.
“While everyone is aware of the sources of pollution, they are awaiting the court’s intervention. We have solutions to every problem, but no one is doing anything. The court itself says that we want results. We are not experts, but we want solutions,” the Supreme Court said.
Delhi’s Chief Secretary submitted a proposal to the Supreme Court on Friday, outlining the plan for artificial rain through cloud seeding. The proposal aims to alleviate the severe air pollution affecting the city and its adjoining areas.
Gopal Rai, the Delhi Environment Minister, engaged in discussions with scientists from IIT-Kanpur earlier this week to explore the feasibility of implementing artificial rain as a pollution control measure. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government expressed its intention to proceed with the initiative by November 20, pending support from the Centre.
To facilitate the artificial rain project, the Chief Secretary was directed to submit the necessary applications to seek permission from the Union ministries. The government announced its commitment to covering the costs of Phase 1 and Phase 2 pilots for artificial rain, amounting to Rs 13 crore.
Supreme Court dissatisfied with Delhi government
Despite these efforts, the Supreme Court voiced its dissatisfaction with the Delhi government’s handling of the pollution issue, noting a recurring lack of prompt action. The court stated, “Speed comes after we intervene year after year,” emphasizing the need for effective solutions and expressing concern over the delayed response to the pollution crisis.
Earlier in the week, the Supreme Court had scrutinized the effectiveness of the Delhi government’s odd-even car rationing scheme, questioning its impact on curbing pollution. The court urged for tangible results and emphasized the responsibility of authorities to proactively address environmental challenges.
As the Delhi government navigates the complexities of securing permissions and addresses the Supreme Court’s concerns, the fate of the artificial rain initiative remains uncertain in the ongoing battle against air pollution in the national capital.