By P.T. Bopanna
The Kumaraswamy government which is on its way out has no business to start cloud-seeding operations in Kodagu (Coorg) from July 24. With reports of landslides being reported at Jodupala near Madikeri yesterday and fresh predictions from Indian Meteorological Department of heavy rains, the cloud-seeding could trigger major landslides in Kodagu.
The lame duck JD (S)-Congress government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy in Karnataka had approved a Rs 91-crore plan for cloud seeding, amid rumours that the exercise which has been found to be unscientific was being taken up to benefit vested interests.
Reports quoting a rural development and panchayat raj official said that the exercise will start on Wednesday and the flights would take off from Mysuru and conduct seeding in the Old Mysuru areas.
The logic behind the exercise is to induce rains in the Cauvery river catchment areas, even if it involves triggering landslides. Since Kodagu has already suffered heavy landslides last year, the seeding could rip apart the landscape of Kodagu in the event of a cloud-burst.
The Union government should intervene in the matter and stop permission for seeding. Instead of wasting money on such environmentally hazardous experiments, the government should concentrate on rain water harvesting, dry land farming, and importantly take steps to protect the forests.