September 7, 2009

Mayor proposes a snow-free Moscow

Residents of the area surrounding Moscow said a proposal by the city's mayor to keep snow out of the city has raised concerns about flooding.

Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said cloud-seeding technology could be used to keep snow out of Moscow for only one-third of the annual cost of snowplows and other removal operations, The Times of London reported Monday.

Luzhkov said the technology is already used to ensure sunny days for special occasions, including the annual parade celebrating victory in World War II.

Why don't we keep this snow outside the Moscow city limits? the mayor said. For the countryside, this means more moisture and bigger harvests. And for us, less snow.

However, residents in outlying regions raised concerns that preventing snow from falling on Moscow could cause flooding in their areas.

On those holidays when they clear the clouds over Moscow the surplus precipitation becomes a problem for us, said Vladimir Litvishkov, a land management official near the city.