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Planning needed to avoid such calamities: Pachuri

 

The Tribune, New Delhi, August 6, 2013

Climate change expert RK Pachuri today said that while it could not be said with certainty that the June 16 and June 17 calamity was a result of climate change, the frequency of such incidents is expected to increase in the future for which advance planning is required for reducing risks to life and property.

 

“Two years back a report was prepared by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC) and had warned that frequency of heat wave and increase in external precipitation was affecting the climate of the Arctic Council of which the Himalayas were also a part. While it cannot be said with certainty that the recent flooding in Uttarakhand could be due to climate change, it should act as a warning for us to take decisions to prevent losses,'' he said while speaking with reporters after the GEP meeting attending by environmentalists and ministers .

 

Pachuri, who is also Director General of The Energy and Resource Institute ( TERI- New Delhi), was in Dehradun to participate in the committee meeting called to formulate gross environment product for the state.

 

He said that the incident should act as a wake-up call for the state to plan, keeping in view the fragile eco system of the state.

 

On the other hand patron of Himalayan Environment Studies Conservation Organisation (HESCO) Anil Prakash Joshi, on whose suggestion the government decided to adopt GEP, said that the collective indicator would help in striking a balance between environment and ecology. ''Within a month the different institutions working in the state would come up with a empirical formula for establishing parametres for GEP,'' said Joshi.

 

On the other hand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, while chairing the meeting on GEP, said that the committee's advice would also be sought on developing alternative for Char Dham Yatra and road construction.

 

''We will also hold a conference in New Delhi in which along with the Himalayan states, the participants from the Himalayan countries, including Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan would also participate for deliberating on the issue of striking a balance between development and environment,'' said Bahuguna.

 

The committee members include Principal Secretary, Forests and Environment (Uttarakhand) S Ramaswamy, Director General of TERI RK Pachuri, Director, National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee RD Singh, Director, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Anil Kumar Gupta, Anil Joshi of HESCO and others.