Himachal Pradesh to install anti-hail guns

July 3rd, 2008 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, July 3 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government is planning to install hail control systems, comprising 40 anti-hail guns with four radar systems, to shield crops from the vagaries of weather in the state. Frequent bad weather damaging a huge crop produce every year has prompted the government to install the system.

A grant of Rs.270 million has been sought from the central government for setting up a hail control system in the fruit-growing belt of Shimla, Kullu, Mandi and Chamba districts, according to official sources.

Going by figures of the state horticulture department, of about 64,000 tonnes apples produced last year, over 9,000 tonnes were lost due to hailstones. The loss was estimated at Rs.205 million.

An estimated 35 percent fruit produce of the state, about 22,450 tonnes, also was lost due to hailstorms, causing a loss of over Rs.250 million.

This year the total crop worth more than Rs.1 billion was destroyed.

Even the total yield of apple this year will be about four million boxes less than last year’s record production of 29.2 million boxes.

Concerned over the annual losses, the government is planning to set up four hail control systems, comprising 40 anti-hail guns with four radar systems, for covering 4,000 hectare fruit/vegetable growing area of the state.

These guns send shock waves into the pressure area where hail clouds are formed and they puncture the clouds and bring down harmless rains instead of the damaging hails.

A single gun can cover over 300 hectares of area. These guns are eco-friendly as the gases released from the guns are not greenhouse gases.

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