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Greenpeace brings Delhi govt's attention to mitigating impact of heatwaves

"Considering the devastating impacts faced by more than half of Delhi's population during the 2022 heatwaves, we emphasised urgent need for the Delhi govt to release and implement a heat action plan"

heatwave in India

Press Trust of India New Delhi
Greenpeace India on Friday wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the lack of action and urgency in mitigating the impact of extreme heat episodes on vulnerable people in the national capital.
Greenpeace India members also staged a demonstration at the Delhi Secretariat, demanding that the city government implement a comprehensive heat action plan (HAP) by June-end.
The letter to the chief minister said despite the Union health ministry's warning about the significant health and socio-economic impact of heatwaves, the city government has displayed indifference towards this issue.
HAPs are the primary policy response to economically damaging and life-threatening heatwaves. They prescribe a number of activities, disaster responses and post-heatwave response measures to decrease the impact of heatwaves.
Considering the devastating impacts faced by more than half of Delhi's population during the 2022 heatwaves, we emphasised the urgent need for the Delhi government to release and implement a heat action plan. We also presented a comprehensive set of demands to tackle the crisis effectively, Avinash Kumar Chanchal, campaign manager, Greenpeace India said.
These demands include releasing the HAP draft for public consultation by the end of June, incorporating scientific climate projections based on hyperlocal data, tailoring adaptation and mitigation measures to different vulnerable groups, establishing early warning systems, identifying and supporting the most vulnerable populations, ensuring policy integration across relevant departments, establishing a centralised funding mechanism, making HAPs legally binding, providing urgent healthcare for heatstroke-affected individuals, and incorporating nature-based cooling systems and green spaces in the plan.
Greenpeace India also urged the AAP government to prioritise these demands and take immediate action to prevent human and economic casualties, considering the predictions of even more extreme summers with the impending impacts of El Nino.
El Nino, which is the warming of the waters in the Pacific Ocean near South America, is generally associated with weakening of monsoon winds and dry weather in India.
A report by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in May said most parts of India would see an increase in the duration of heatwaves by 12-18 days by 2060.
Heatwaves claimed more than 17,000 lives in 50 years in India, according to a paper authored by M Rajeevan, former secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, along with scientists Kamaljit Ray, S S Ray, R K Giri and A P Dimri.
The paper published in 2021 said India reported 706 heatwave incidents from 1971-2019.
The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted that the rising mortality rate due to heatwaves is a major climate risk for South Asian countries.
A moderate increase in average temperatures or a slight increase in the duration of heatwaves can lead to a significant increase in the mortality rate in India unless remedial and response measures are taken, the report stated.
However, heatwaves are yet to be officially recognised as a natural disaster at the national level in India. In addition to the immense impact on human health, extreme periods of high temperatures can lead to a significant reduction in crop yields and cause reproductive failure in many crops, as shown by research.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jun 24 2023 | 7:04 AM IST

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