Maharashtra CM urged to look south for a solution to fighting climate change

Nanded, Beed, Jalna, Aurangabad, Nashik and Sangli districts are most impacted by extreme weather events such as floods and cyclones
Last Updated 11 December 2022, 05:06 IST

With Maharashtra state reeling under severe impacts of climate change year after year, several state-based environmentalists have urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to take key learnings from Tamil Nadu and implement its Climate Resilience model.

Shinde also happens to be Maharashtra's Environment and Climate Change Minister.

Maharashtra has compensated Rs 19,637 crore to victims of climate change-related incidents over six years across 35 districts, data from the state government has shown.

Nanded, Beed, Jalna, Aurangabad, Nashik and Sangli districts are most impacted by extreme weather events such as floods and cyclones, with over Rs 1,000 crore paid in compensation for each district.

Between 2016 and 2021, the state paid Rs. 8,126.96 crore for damages caused by untimely rains, hailstorms, and stormy winds, Rs. 4,126.04 crore for excessive rains and floods, Rs. 3,992.7 crores on heavy rains alone, Rs. 769.85 crores on flood damage mitigation, and Rs. 2,666.47 crores for damages caused by cyclonic storms.

Known to spear-head many path-breaking initiatives to build climate resilience, the Tamil Nadu government which has set up a Special Purpose Vehicle- the Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company (TNGCC) to carry out the Climate Action Plan effectively, launched the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission on Friday. With this, Tamil Nadu has become a pioneer among the Indian states in launching this Climate Change Mission.

Bhagwan Kesbhat, Founder of Waatavaran Foundation said that the Maharashtra government has been actively speaking about building climate resilience and supporting the central government-led efforts on achieving climate targets.

“With the year 2023, is the most ideal time for the State to launch a dedicated and similar mission to the one being implemented in Tamil Nadu. It’s important that this mission is under the leadership of the Chief Minister as it will ensure accountability and implementation on the ground,” he said, adding that Waatavaran is also planning to send a letter to the Chief Minister’s office soon with this request.

Leena Buddhe, Founder of Nagpur-based Centre For Sustainable Development (CFSD) stated that the entire belt of Vidarbha and Marathwada was highly vulnerable to climate change.

“One of the main predictions made in the most recent IPCC report was that heat waves would increase, having a particularly negative impact on the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Both urban and rural regions must make this adjustment. There are some areas of Maharashtra that lack water as well. Although there are watershed management programs underway, they need to be stepped up given the impending threat of heat waves,” she said.

Anjal Prakash, Research Director and Adjunct Associate Professor, Indian School of Business & Lead IPCC Author, said that the recent floods in Sangli and other areas has actually exposed the vulnerability of Maharashtra, meanwhile some parts of the state are also drought prone- to an extent that water trains had to be used.

“Climate change is a force multiplier - it actually aggravates the existing situation. We have seen the monsoon patterns have changed and have been impacting agriculture a lot more. Some of the semi-arid, arid and dry regions are also impacted due to the heat wave and rise in temperature. This is something that the Maharashtra state will have to concentrate on,” he said.

(Published 11 December 2022, 05:06 IST)

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