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Delhi air quality still poor, authorities consider artificial rain

November 21, 2018

With Delhi's air quality still in the very poor category for the fourth day in a row, people are waking up to a misty morning. The minimum temperature was at 13.5 degrees Celsius.

The sky will be mainly clear with shallow fog and mist in the morning and haze thereafter. - Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)

With pollution levels showing no sign of improvement, the government is planning to induce artificial rain to wash away pollutants from the air, said Union Minister Mahesh Sharma. "The Centre has decided that if the air quality crosses 500 mark, they will ask authorities to induce artificial rain or cloud seeding over the capital."

Cloud seeding is the process of combining different kinds of chemical agents, including silver iodide, dry ice and even common table salt, with clouds to thicken them and increase the chance of rainfall.

The overall air quality index was recorded at 352, which is very poor according to the Central Pollution Control Board.

Delhi is facing a major air quality crisis. Last year severe pollution levels forced the shutdown of schools and colleges. In 2016, the government tried to explore the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain but the plan never worked out.

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