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State to go in for cloud seeding to tackle drought: CM

State to go in for cloud seeding to tackle drought: CM

Thiruvananthapuram: The State government plans to go for a cloud seeding experiment to tackle the severe drought situation prevailing in the state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the Assembly Tuesday.

Replying to a notice for an adjournment motion on drought moved by Congress-led UDF Opposition, Vijayan said the state would take all possible steps including cloud seeding to tackle the situation, one of the worst in the last century.

"Cloud seeding has been found successful in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.State will also try for it," Vijayan said, adding, "We do not know whether it is very costly or not."

The UDF also supported the state initiative in this regard, but staged a walkout in protest against government's refusal to discuss the 'grave drought' situation in the state.

Vijayan also rejected the Opposition charge that government has not taken steps to meet the situation and explained in detail various initiatives for drinking water supply and conservation of water sources in the state.

He assured the House that government would extend compensation to farmers who lost their crop due to drought.

Vijayan also wanted UDF not to politicise the matter and said government is committed to taking all possible steps.

Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas said the situation was very serious and government took steps much earlier foreseeing the gravity of the matter.

As per the Central Gound Water Authority, water table had depleted to four metres and water level in dams has also gone down.

Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan also said government have taken all possible steps to meet the challenge.

Moving notice for the motion, Shafi Parambil (Cong) said steps taken by the government to meet the drought, especially in supplying drinking water, was not enough.

"Most of the schemes are only on paper and it has not been put into practice," he added.

After the reply of ministers, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan declined leave for the motion following which UDF members led by opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala walked out.

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