Bengaluru: Karnataka government has decided to go in for cloud seeding following deficient rains and water level at most reservoirs running low in the state.
Government has also sounded an alert to farmers and asked them to engage in agriculture activities taking note of the rain prospects, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
“We have discussed cloud seeding, in earlier cabinet meeting we had discussed about coming out with a programme for this. Now we have given approval to irrigation department for taking up cloud seeding,” he said.
“We need to first assess the water content in clouds using radars before conducting the experiment; whole cloud seeding process may cost about Rs 30 crore.”
Elaborating about the rain situation in the state, Jayachandra said “overall it has been 503 mm against normal rainfall of 537mm, about six per cent less.”
He said in south interior Karnataka it was a bit better, “in north interior Karnataka there is shortage, in Malnad region there is 24 per cent shortfall and in coastal region 17 per cent shortfall.” The minister said shortage of rains would also aggravate power situation. Barring Almatti and Narayanapura, water levels at most reservoirs like Krishna Raja Sagara, Harangi, Hemavati, Tungabhadra has reached only about 50 per cent, he said. “Present conditions don’t show favorable signs as of now; … met department has also said that chances of good rains are difficult there are chances of only light rainfall.”
“Water from reservoirs, especially from Krishna Raja Sagara and Tungabhadra, can be released only for drinking purpose …,” he added.
Stating that irrigation consultative committees across the state have been asked to give information to farmers, the Minister also listed various steps that government will be taking up–like alternative crops in certain areas and limiting digging of bore wells.
Among other decisions taken by the cabinet in the meeting today include premature release of prisoners undergoing life sentence on grounds of good behaviour on the occasion of Independence day.
Release of a total of 320 prisoners has been approved by the cabinet under the new guidelines formulated by the state. They include 272 men and 48 women.The cabinet has also decided to amend Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession Rules 1994.
It will give priority to ‘M-sand’ and issuing land to those coming forward to set up ‘M-sand’units with required NOCs, among others