LAHORE: The Punjab government is planning to do a first trial of cloud seeding and cloud ionisation methods for artificial rain in the next four to six weeks.

Still, the Punjab environmental protection department officials say the cloud seeding through a chemical process using aircraft was highly dependent on weather conditions and cloud formation.

A team of experts will visit China next month for the feasibility of installation of smog reduction towers in Lahore. The environment protection department gave a briefing on the artificial rain project at a meeting chaired by chief secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman at the civil secretariat on Monday.

The officials also informed the meeting that an MoU with a Dubai-based company was in the final stages, and in the next six weeks, a trial of cloud ionization would be carried out at selected locations in Lahore through use of five systems to be provided by the company.

The officials said a monitoring cell was also being established in the environment protection department to monitor these important projects. The meeting chaired by the chief secretary agreed to form a working group having representatives of relevant federal, provincial departments and military organizations on board to execute the project of artificial rain in Lahore to control smog.

The chief secretary said the Punjab government was taking practical steps to prevent smog, adding that joint efforts were needed to control environmental pollution. He said cooperation of federal and military institutions in efforts to prevent smog in Punjab was commendable.

The administrative secretaries of various departments, including environment protection, agriculture, finance and officers concerned, attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2023

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