Low-cost lightning conductors for NE farmers mooted

GUWAHATI: A low-cost lightning conductor could be a saviour for farmers in the Northeast against the natural calamity while ploughing on their farm lands, experts say.

After taking up awareness programmes in other parts of rural India, the Lightning Resilient India Campaign will soon take up similar drives in the Northeast to promote the conductor which can be locally made with easily accessible items.

“All that a farmer requires is a bamboo with a minimum height of 20 feet, cycle rim on top of bamboo, a connect cycle rim through metal wire of at least 8 mm width to earth it in the earthing pit. The pit has to be between six to eight feet deep and stuffed with charcoal, salt and sand, which are locally available,” Col. Col. Sanjay Srivastava, chairman of Climate Resilient Observing System Promotion Council and convener of the Lightning Resilient India Campaign, told The Shillong Times on Monday.

“Any farmer can make it and take up farming activities or install near his house. This locally-made, low cost lightning conductor would offer protection to about three acre area. We have already carried out campaigns in Jharkhand,” Srivastava said.

A multi-stakeholder consultation against growing lightning deaths in India was recently held at North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) in Umiam where agri-scientists were specially invited to take these local lightning conductors to farmers through programmes of ICAR- Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Agro met field units and District Agro met units.

The meeting highlighted that farmers were the biggest victims of lightning and that the Northeast accounted for more than 30 per cent deaths in India.

“We are in touch with officials in the Northeast will be organising a meeting with state relief commissioners as part of the campaign in Guwahati by mid July,” Srivastava said.  

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