Last month, during United Nation General Assembly’s (UNGA), our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exhorted all the UN members to seriously consider the impacts of serious / emerging climate change which is posing a serious threat to human populations around the Globe.

He appealed to all nations that the time for action has come rather than talks. He highlighted the imperative need to work jointly to combat this serious global treat.

The IPCC has already submitted their Annual Reports to the UN, which mentions among others, about the rise of 1.5 degree centigrade global temperatures from the existing level.

The importance of this rise spells serious threat to all of us, particularly to Indian agriculturist, wild life, besides recurring disaster. Globally, it is known that a rise of 1.0 degree centigrade over the ocean across the globe will generate or trigger cyclones and hurricanes in various parts of the world.

The recurring cyclones and hurricanes that the world is witnessing recently are examples of what can happen in future. The ferocity of Cyclone FANI in Orissa, the Typhoon HAGIBIS in Japan are scary.

The severity and destructive power of these cyclones and hurricanes has far exceeded the disasters of recent time.

The loss of lives though reduced due to prompt actions initiated by the state machinery, but serious damages to the civil infrastructure was quite severe, especially to roads, power line and water supply system, which was subjected adversely due to the disruptions of power supplies across the states.

It is universally acknowledged that once the power lines are disrupted, the communication and civic infrastructure like medical services, water supply etc comes to a grinding halt.

Therefore, it should be borne in mind that the restoration of power should be one of the most challenging and critical activities of the state administration.

Longer the delay of restoration of power supply, there more delay in commencement of relief and restoration works. And, it would impact the common people adversely.

In India, we are quite familiar with the various types of natural disasters (except volcano), especially flood, cyclones, earthquakes and heavy rainfall, clouds burst etc, which triggers severe hardships to the community.

The severe flooding since July in Assam that we have observed this year is a depressing example of suffering of the common people. The floods in Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and recently in Bihar, were also definitely terrifying.

Citizens were subjected to very adverse conditions and suffered terribly during this severe flooding. The condition of Patna city was very unfortunate. The recurring disaster in our country is an advance warning to all of us about Climate Change, for which our Prime Minister has openly advocated for global co-operations to combat the challenges.

The UNGA address of our PM on Climate Change was quite emphatic and was well received by Global leaders. The various initiatives of India on combating this climate change were welcomed by all.

However, internally, we will have to make our major civic infrastructure more disaster resilient. This is an area where all the state governments must deliver results.

The corruption is quite well own in disaster relief works, and it should be dealt ruthlessly, to protect the life of the innocent citizens of the states.

In our country, we have the Disaster Management Act of 2003, which provides guidance to all, especially the state administration as well as the Union government. It requires regular updating as well as tuning with the new and emerging situations, especially the latest phenomena of Climate Change which is overwhelming us.

This extreme climate changes will pose huge threat to our farmers, agriculturist especially due to prolonged drought or heavy rainfall etc which we have noticed during the last hundred days, which has brought sever losses to farming communities besides livestock breeders.

Therefore, to combat such contingencies, the state governments should undertake massive education and outreach programmes to educate all our stakeholders.

We must realize that disaster affects common people, and recurring disaster affects civilizations permanently.

HS Brahma

HS Brahma is former Chief Election Commissioner of India. He can be reached at hsbrahma1950@gmail.com

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