Pune: Union Minister for Science and Technology, Vilasrao Deshmukh, today laid the foundation stone of a High Altitude Cloud Physics laboratory at the hill station of Mahabaleshwar near here.
The Rs 35 crore laboratory which will be monitored by Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) is the first of its kind aiming to collect data on cloud formation and impact of air pollution on the process.
Speaking on the occasion, Deshmukh said the research on rainfall pattern at the lab would start from June with the onset of the monsoon and also help weather scientists in analysing the reasons behind formation of high and deficit rainfall zones in the region.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who was present on the occasion, said Mahabaleshwar was the ideal location for setting up the laboratory with its location at the height of 1438 meters above sea level in the Western Ghats range.
The data collected at the lab would also help in better prediction of the monsoon and planning of agricultural operations, he added.