Taking note of the continued dry spell in several regions, the state government has decided to approach a Pune-based company to initiate cloud seeding operations by spending about Rs 5 crore.
According to official sources, the Cabinet sub-committee on drought, which met here on Monday has decided to go ahead with its plan for cloud seeding as the present climate conditions are ideal for this.
With the decision to keep the cost of the cloud seeding operations within `5 crore, rain harvesting would depend on the response of the Pune-based company, sources said.
In a note submitted to the cabinet sub-committee on drought relief, it was stated that the state has faced a 65 per cent deficit in rainfall in May 2012, followed by 37 per cent in the month of June.
From June 1 to September 2, the state received about 521.1 mm against the normal rainfall of 686.21 mm, clocking a deficit of over 24 per cent, including 21 per cent shortage in South Interior, 28 per cent in North Interior, 24 per cent in hilly areas and 22 per cent in the coastal areas.
Taking into consideration the severe drought conditions prevailing in over 142 taluks, the state government has decided to release Rs 1.5 crore to each districts and deposit it with the respective electricity companies.
It was also decided to procure fodder from distant places, including Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in the coming days and open another 90 cattle sheds in rural areas in addition to 219 sheds operating in various districts.
The state government is spending over Rs 93.48 lakh daily for over 170,173 cattle.