Dehradun, October 22
With the anti-hail cannon giving mixed results in states, the Horticulture Department is no longer banking on it to provide protection to the fruit crops from hailstorm that has been causing extensive damage in the state.
The Horticulture Department had submitted a proposal to the Centre for extending the anti-hail gun facility under the Horticulture Mission on trial basis last year, but after receiving mixed reports on its performance, the department is no longer keen on it.
The state-of-the-art acetylene-fired anti-hail cannon shoots ionising shockwaves up in the air every four to five seconds which reach the high atmosphere that ultimately disrupts the formation the growth of hailstones by melting them.
“We will revisit the proposal once again. It is not clear how much area the anti-hail gun would be able to cover and how effective the gun would be in tackling the problem. It can only function in conjunction with the weather radars,” said Amrita Rawat, state Minister for Horticulture.
While the hail cannons could provide effective cover against hailstorm, experts point out that weather radar that manages to foretell the formation of hailstorms in advance also needs to be installed in the area as the cannon operation has to be initiated 20 minutes before the hailstorm.

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