China's chief meteorologist conducted cloud seeding in Maharashtra
Interview with Sitaram mewati (Mumbai Messenger)

September 2, 2016

from Left to Right:Dr. Prof. YAO Zhanyu- Chief Meteorologist of China\

\Chinese Consul General Zheng Xiyuan

Mumbai and Shanghai are sister cities. H.E. Han Zheng, (Member of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee and Party Secretary of Shanghai Municipal Corporation) visited Mumbai last May. He met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and discussed various issues like global climate change and its impact on the agriculture and farmer's life.

Han Zheng showed his great concern about the drought situation and water problem in Maharashtra. He expressed his willingness to help Mumbai and other areas too. CM Fadnavis hoped that the cooperation between Shanghai and Maharashtra to be through technological exchanges. Han Zheng sent a team of meteorologist in this regard.

Chief Meteorologist Dr. Prof. YAO Zhanyu who is also a member of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) visited Maharashtra to study the drought situation. Zheng Xiyuan, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Mumbai, personally accompanied him to Solapur to ascertain first hand situation. Senior Journalist Sitaram Mewati in conversation with Dr. Prof. YAO Zhanyu.

A team headed by you recently visited Solapur to study use of cloud seeding, please elaborate?
A team of Chinese meteorologists including me visited the Ujjani Dam and the Modnimbu village in Solapur at the end of May. As Maharashtra state was going through severe drought, we were studying various aspects to overcome out of it and suggest effective solution. Beside us there were Indian meteorologists and in situ investigation team from Solapur to explain and suggest. After in depth studies we exchanged our views to Indian meteorologists. We submitted suggestions to the government on precipitation enhancement project in Maharashtra to mitigate the serious drought situation.

Why is there a need for cloud seeding?
Generally cloud seeding is not considered if monsoon is adequate and there is enough water available. So whenever there is a drought situation in many part of the world, cloud seeding is alternate solution. Cloud seeding is one of the effective techniques to enhance precipitation in proper condition. So far cloud seeding techniques have been applying in about 50 countries. It takes place in China every year for cloud seeding activities with the largest scale in the world.

Was Maharashtra Government satisfied with your study?
Our team has given in depth research report to the Maharashtra Government and also had discussion with them thrice. Our expert team also had a meeting with Hon'ble Chief Secretary Swadhin Kshatriya in this regard. We had a very good conversation regarding this issue. In my opinion the state government was fully satisfied with our research.

Is there any precise reason to choose Solapur for cloud seeding by Chinese government?
There are two main reasons. Firstly Solapur is the homeland of Dr. Dwarkanath Shantaram Kotnis, an excellent son of Solapur and a great International doctor. He helped Chinese people against the Japanese invader during the second World War. Chinese government and people will never forget sacrifice of Dr. Kotnis, a friend of Chinese people. Secondly, Solapur is one of the most serious areas of drought in Maharashtra and the Ujjani Dam in Solapur plays an important role in fighting the drought in Maharashtra. Therefore, Solapur is the most proper and preferred area selected by Chinese expert team for cloud seeding experiment.

Is state government ready for cloud seeding?
As one of the effective techniques to enhance precipitation in proper condition, cloud seeding techniques have already attracted attention of the state government. That is why the Chinese expert team was invited to visit Maharashtra and make suggestions to the state government. I think the state government of Maharashtra is seeking proper techniques to mitigate the serious drought situation in Maharashtra. I may not be able to tell you whether government of Maharashtra will opt for cloud seeding, it completely their state matter and decision has to be taken by them. But we are ready to help them at any given time.




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