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Kerala looks to artificial rain to fight drought

Indian state is going through a severe water shortage and drought

Gulf News

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is considering cloud seeding to create artificial rain in an attempt to ease the drought situation prevailing in the state.

The state is going through a severe water shortage and drought, with parallels being drawn to the drought of 1983.

This time, however, conditions are more severe with the water deficiency having hit the state as early as in February.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed the state assembly on Tuesday that the state would consider cloud seeding and the government had taken all possible measures to deal with the drought situation.

He said the drought situation could not be blamed on the state government.

The chief minister made the remarks after legislator Shafi Parambil insisted that the House take up the issue of drought, considering its seriousness. Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan said the state government had begun measures to deal with the drought from October last year onwards.

The weather department has indicated that there is possibility for sun strokes in Kerala in the hotter months of April and May.

Well before the peak of summer, many rivers in Kerala have run dry, and the water flow in the state’s largest river, the Bharathapuzha, has narrowed to a trickle.

Rivers like the Meenachil and the Manimala are sporting dry river beds at different places.

In almost all districts of the state, people are already resorting to regular purchase of water through private water tanker operators.

In some places, local people have come to blows over the issue of extracting water from bore wells and selling it to households around the area.

Summer rains have brought temporary relief in some places in the state over the past week, but the large majority of the state continues to be water-deficient as early as in March with more than two and a half months of summer left.

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