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Maharashtra government to set up task force to study climate change impact

The Maharashtra government is planning to put together a task force to study the impact of climate change in Mumbai. This monsoon, the city received unprecedented and record rainfall which led to numerous deluges. Experts said that the increasing trend of short bursts of devastating rainfall is a phenomenon typical of climate change.

According to a senior state government official, the task force will study measures taken by cities like London, Venice and Geneva, and prepare a plan for Mumbai which will include flood management. The task force, which will have global as well as Indian experts, will be set up in coordination with the state environment department and Mumbai First, a non-profit, policy think-tank.

Last week, Narinder Nayar, chairman, Mumbai First, held a meeting with Maharashtra chief secretary Ajoy Mehta and gave a presentation on the subject of setting up the task force. According to Nayar, various studies carried out by recognised agencies have opined that Mumbai, being a coastal city will bear the brunt of rising temperatures.

“We have seen heavy rains in the last month which has led to flooding, which reminds us what happened a few years ago [2005 deluge and 2017 flooding]. There is climate change happening; some parts of the world have heatwaves like in Europe, while some have seen heavy rains and flooding. Various committees of the United Nations have said that Mumbai is going to be affected by the temperature rise. We should set up a task force and look at pro-active steps to be taken,” Nayar said.

He added that they will coordinate with the European Climate Change Programme of the European Union to prepare a blueprint. “We work closely with the World Bank, European Union agencies and will bring in experts from various bodies. We will bring in all the experience and apply it for Mumbai,” Nayar added.

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