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Money For Rain
Despite poor results last year, the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy regime is to invest Rs 40 crore during the current monsoons to try and augment rainfall in 10 chronically rain-starved districts. Last year, Agni Aviations, a subsidiary of US-based Weather Modification Inc, was paid Rs 19 crore for the purpose. They claimed rainfall had gone up by 5-30 per cent in areas where cloud seeding was done. Of course, that didn’t stop environmentalists and even members of an expert government panel from raining down on them. Despite this, Agni Aviations has got the contract again for Rs 23.60 crore this year. Officials say it is improving infrastructure and introducing new checks to avoid last year’s "shortcomings".