India will face more Jammu & Kashmir floods-like calamities in future, warn researchers

jammu-and-kashmir-floods

Source: Unknown

New Delhi: With over 6 lakh people still stranded in what is being called as the worst floods in over a century in Jammu and Kashmir, an analysis done by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has warned that India may face more such calamities in future.

“India will be hit more and more by extreme rainfall events,” says the study. Researchers at CSE found that heavy (>100mm/day) and very heavy (>150mm/day) rainfall events in India have increased over the past 50-60 years. India will get more rainfall but in a much shorter duration, say the results, also predicting extreme precipitation during monsoons.

The study stressed on the fact that such extreme weather conditions are being induced by climate change. “The Kashmir floods are a grim reminder that climate change is now hitting India harder. In the last 10 years, several extreme rainfall events have rocked the country, this being the latest calamity in the series,” said Chandra Bhushan, CSE Deputy Director General and the head of its climate change team.

A team of CSE researchers compiled a list of the natural calamities that have recently hit the nation, including the Mumbai floods in 2005, the Leh cloudburst in 2010 and the Uttarakhand floods in 2013. Studying the Jammu and Kashmir calamity in retrospect of these tragedies, the researchers said that unplanned development, especially on riverbanks, worsened the situation.

“In the last 100 years, more than 50 per cent of the lakes, ponds and wetlands of Srinagar have been encroached upon for constructing buildings and roads,” said a statement released by the organisation on Wednesday. Pointing at the administration’s failure and emphasising on its role at disaster management, Bhushan said, “The state has not been prepared to handle such extreme rainfall events. In fact, Jammu & Kashmir does not have a flood forecasting system.”

Anticipating more such calamities in India, CSE Director General Sunita Narain called for a policy change based on the predictions made by climate models. “The Indian government must discard its ostrich-like policy and get out of its denial mode. We will have to see the linkages between climate change and events such as unfolding in J&K…From building of cities infrastructure to agriculture and from water supply to energy infrastructure, we will have changes to incorporate climate change impacts,” she said.

Apart from strengthening the disaster management system at home, Bhushan also called for seeking other nations’ support and cooperation in reducing emissions to check the impact of these calamities expected in India.

(The article first appeared on News 18.)

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