Delhi struggles to breathe healthy air as the air quality is ‘very poor’. The authorities’ proposal to wash away air pollutants by an artificial rain could not be approved as the weather conditions is not favourable.

According to Prashant Gargava, member secretary, Central Pollution Control Board, artificial rain depends on the IMD’s forecast regarding the availability of required types of cloud needed for seeding which is unfavourable for at least a week. We will have to wait till the meteorological conditions are favourable for seeding, the department said.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR), on Friday, Delhi was enveloped by a thick haze and also an effect of slight burning in neighbouring states on air pollution was recorded in the capital.

The forecast indicated that the Air Quality Index (AQI) is likely to remain ‘poor’ for the next two or three days due to low temperature and high relative humidity.

The current forecast predicted cloud formation on Friday. The scientists at IIT Kanpur are working on technologies for seeding and highlights that the height of clouds is not optimum.

According to Professor S N Tripathi, head of the department of civil engineering and department of earth sciences IIT Kanpur said, these are ice clouds that are above 6 km. The clouds should be at a height of 2.5 to 4 km for seeding. Not to worry if the thickness of the clouds are sufficient and it contains ice-crystals and water, the trial may be attempted.

The major challenge is the availability of the supercooled clouds that contains ice crystals and water at a suitable height. According to scientists, the probability of such cloud formation to occur in winters is very low.

An aircraft has been secured from the Indian Space Research Organisation to install a seeding system and clearances are sought from different agencies for its use.