Thursday 1 September 2011

Uttarakhand plans to install anti-hailguns in Uttarkashi district to save fruit crops

Written by Anil Singh

Hailstorms destroy a sizeable fruit crop in the fruit belts of Uttarakhand. In order to save the horticulturists from this crop loss, the Uttarakhand has decided to install anti-hailguns in the state.

The move is hoped to save fruit crops, especially apples, from being damaged by hailstorms.

State Agriculture Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, said yesterday that the Centre has already agreed in-principle to include our proposal in the National Agriculture Development Programme and as soon as it is done, the process for installation of anti-hailguns would be started.
In the first phase of the anti-hailstorm gun project, the government has proposed to buy one radar and three anti-hailguns. The set up will be installed in Uttarkashi district, namely at Harsil, Har-Ki-Dun and Barkot. The choice of these regions is them matching the project specifications, as fruits are grown in clusters in these high-altitude areas. If successful the guns will be proliferated to other areas later on.

What is an anti-hailgun:

The anti-hailgun works with the help of a radar and fire in the air immediately after getting signals about a hailstorm.

The principle behind anti-hail guns is to prevent the damage caused by hailstones by preventing their formation and growth by melting them all together. An anti-hailgun can save crops in a 1-km radius. A single radar can control at least 10 anti-hailguns.

Hail storms, do considerable damage to fruit crops, apple, pear and other fruit crops, both a flowering and the fruit growth stage. According to an estimate, around 50-60 per cent of the apple crop in Uttarakhand was destroyed this year due to hailstones.

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