India

Nature’s woes and lessons

Urban and rural development policy will have to be differentiated to meet the challenges posed by climate change.

Atul Kanak

Urban and rural development policy will have to be differentiated to meet the challenges posed by climate change. In the past, scientists have been emphasizing that land use policies in India need to be reconsidered.

The kind of fury shown by the monsoon this time in many places including Kerala and Uttarakhand, it has forced the common man to think that it was just a raging fury of nature or a sign of the possibilities of catastrophe? Uttarakhand and Kerala are geographically located on two opposite sides of the land of India. If the rains create chaos in two states located so far apart, that too after half October has passed, then it will be forced to think whether such changes are taking place in the climate which will be beneficial for the general public in the coming time. Create an even more difficult situation? This apprehension has also started getting stronger because in terms of data, the amount of rain in the entire season cannot be called uncomfortable or unusual for the Indian peninsula.

Scientists associated with climate studies say that according to the data, the rain is not getting much. Even so, it cannot be called unusual to have good or more rain in this season. But the increased humidity in the atmosphere sometimes creates a situation like excessive rain. To understand this fact, we have to understand that in the last one hundred and thirty years the average temperature of the earth has increased by about 1.3 degree Celsius. Due to this increase in temperature, when evaporation occurs from the water sources on the surface of the earth, the humidity in the atmosphere increases by nine to ten percent. This moisture stays in the air. When there is no rain for a long time, the air retains that moisture and when it starts raining, it releases all the accumulated moisture within a few moments. This is the reason why these days cloudburst-like situations are happening again and again.

Many scientists associated with climate studies say that in fact, the heavy rain that we consider these days to be the result of cloudburst, in fact, that strong rain is due to the moisture accumulated in the air getting dissolved in the rain water. If the whole season’s rain falls in a few days, then the figures will show the total amount of rain as normal, but the people of those areas where there is heavy rain, they do not understand why this havoc of nature has wreaked havoc on them.

Carbon emissions are at the root of the increase in humidity in the air due to the increase in Earth’s temperature. The whole world is now emphasizing on implementing positive plans to control carbon emissions. But controlling carbon emissions is not that easy either. From electricity consumption to transportation, man is releasing uncontrolled carbon in the lap of nature and this carbon emission is causing climate crisis around the world. Can one easily believe the fact that even when we listen to a song online, we still end up handing over unwanted carbon emissions to the environment. The file which is downloaded or taken directly from the Internet to your phone, then that file is saved in a server. Servers require electricity to cool and run, and uncontrolled electricity consumption is also responsible for the carbon emissions in the world, due to which scientists and environmentalists around the world are worried.

In the recent rains that lashed Kerala and immediately thereafter Uttarakhand, incidents like landslides and floods left a large section of the population distraught. According to scientists, due to climate change, incidents like landslides and floods have increased rapidly in the last few years. Dr. Raxi Mathew, scientist at the Center for Climate Change Research, has also said at one place that urban and rural development policy will have to be differentiated to meet the challenges posed by climate change in the future. In the past, scientists have been emphasizing that land use policies in India need to be reconsidered. We have to adopt policies that can cope with the vagaries of climate change.

In fact, if we assess the situation of floods in various cities of India in the last few years, then it will come to the fore that the water did not cause as much orgy while raining from the sky, as much as due to accumulation of water on the settlements or roads. Came to see The reason is clear. We have planned our development in such a way that even the traditional avenues of drainage of rain water are closed. This can be understood from the example of Kota city of South East Rajasthan. The city of Kota is situated in the lowest part of the Hadoti plateau, which was part of the famous Gondwana plateau at some point in the Hadoti plateau period.

Naturally, the rainwater coming down rapidly in the upper part of the plateau. In view of this, in 1346 AD, Prince Dhirdeh of Bundi built thirteen ponds in different parts of this plateau in such a way that the water flowing towards the settlements could be saved in its expansion. But after independence, in the name of development, these ponds became victims of encroachment and markets and settlements kept on settling there. Due to this the flow of rain water was blocked, so the water started creating chaos in the settlements. This is what happened in the hilly areas. In Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, the deluge that has started being seen after the incidents of cloudburst, is also at the root of the encroachment and illegal construction on the mountains. In Kerala, incidents of buildings being built on the banks of rivers and submergence of coastal land are also happening because we have started blocking the way of natural sources.

Scientists and environmentalists working on climate believe that natural disasters like Kerala or Uttarakhand can plague any part of the world, especially the countries of the Indian subcontinent where population density is very high and there is a need to encroach on land in an uncontrolled manner. The trend is common. Therefore, policy makers have to come up with such plans with alertness and foresight, due to which the flow of water is not blocked and the water collected during the rainy season can be easily drained. To avoid the emergencies arising due to climate change, we also have to control those situations which are the factors of unwanted climate change. Carbon emissions are chief among them. Being a participant in the Paris Agreement, India has to bring its carbon emissions down to zero anyway. It is worth mentioning that India ranks third in the world in terms of carbon emissions after China and America. It can be said that on the pretext of events in Kerala or Uttarakhand, nature has warned us that we should be sensitive to ecology and aware of climate change.

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