Shimla: Almost after a decade, Anti-hail guns seems back on the state government agenda and this time Govt is exploring possibilities to ride on an indigenous technology.

With no official word on the finding of anti-hail gun technology (in operation since 2011 in the state), now the Himachal Pradesh horticulture department has been directed to explore the possibilities to set up indigenous anti-hail guns on a trial basis.

Horticulture Minister Mahender Singh Thakur, in a review meeting, has directed the state horticulture department to formulate a project to install indigenously developed anti-hail guns at 8 to 10 places in the state on a trial basis.

Minister claimed that the IIT Mumbai and Dr Y.S. Parmar Horticulture and Forestry University Nauni have jointly developed indigenous anti-hail gun.

Professor Sudarshan Kumar, IIT Mumbai, Professor, Prof S.K Bhardwaj, Dr. Y.S. Parmer Horticulture University, Nauni, Representatives of World Bank Ashish Nadda were present at the meeting.

“At present the foreign made anti-hail guns are being used in the state which costs about Rs. 2 to 3 crore,” minister said and further added that the cost of anti-hail gun could be reduced only by adopting anti-hail gun of indigenous technology.

The state government, in 2010-11 had established anti-hail guns in Jubbal-Kotkhai and Rohru areas of Shimla district and later apple growers from Maraog and Baggi region of the Shimla district installed the magic gun to protect the apple crop from the hailstorm.

With no official word or study on the results of the anti-hail guns from Horticulture department and Horticulture University Nauni, BJP, which was instrumental behind the project, termed the project successful, however, Congress leader, including veteran politician Virbhadra Singh called it big failure and pressed for anti-hail nets.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.