• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

World Environment Day – Mayor Firhad Hakim acknowledges climate crisis in Kolkata, 3500 water bodies filled in 20 years, Cyclone Amphan uproots 20000 trees

World Environment Day – Mayor Firhad Hakim acknowledges climate crisis in Kolkata, 3500 water bodies filled in 20 years, Cyclone Amphan uproots 20000 trees

At a meeting on World Environment Day on Monday, Mayor Firhad Hakim admitted that Kolkata is under severe climate stress and pointed out that the situation has worsened due to continuous environmental violations over the past two decades.

The event was organized by Environment Government Integrated Organization (NGIO) with support from Prabha Khaitan Foundation (PKF) and My Kolkata.

At the event, Hakim announced a set of measures to combat the menace, including the preparation of the Kolkata Climate Action Plan, which he launched. A pan-India consortium of organizations and experts led by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation will prepare the plan within six months.

Environmental non-profit NGO and green platform Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) will coordinate preparations, Observer Research Foundation Kolkata, Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI), Climate Trends, Press Club, Kolkata will also contribute.

“Years ago, monsoon would have arrived at this time and this year we have daytime temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius. “We have made it worse in the last two decades as we have replenished nearly 3,500 water bodies and lost 20,000 trees in Cyclone Amphan alone,” the mayor said in the meeting.

“We used to call Kolkata the ‘City of Joy’; Now with increasing air pollution, it is going to become a COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) city,” said Hakim, adding that the civic body has decided to plant 25 lakh trees along the banks on both banks of Hooghly till Dakshineshwar. Nulla of Toli and the wetlands of East Kolkata and reclaimed land from the dumping site at Dhappa.

Dignitaries from the state government and consulates, environmentalists, academics and experts from various fields participated in the event.

“We announced in Copenhagen and then in Glasgow that we would transition urban transport off fossil fuels by 2030. We are working on that commitment by creating charging infrastructure around the city. We expect the Kolkata Climate Action Plan to be finalized within six months,” said the mayor.

Debashish Kumar, who represented the KMC at the last Global Climate Summit in Sham el-Sheikh, Egypt, said the civic body would extend all support to the proposed initiative.

The expert panel announced to guide the process will have experts from industry, transport, power, drainage, public health, biodiversity, air pollution, finance, communication and all related fields. The meeting held on Monday was attended by several people representing these sectors.

“I am very happy to be a part of the committee and will provide all the inputs to form the Kolkata Climate Action Plan. “Climate change is rapidly uncontrollable and cutting emissions from fossil fuel burning is a major issue,” said Subimal Ghosh of IIT Mumbai, a climate scientist and author of the recently published IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change. Kolkata Committee.

“From the transportation side, we will provide all relevant information and support through our IIT-based team,” added Bhargav Maitra of IIT Kharagpur; Another member.

Abhijit Chatterjee, a scientist at the Bose Institute and a member of the committee tasked with providing expert input on urban air pollution and its link to climate change, pointed out that his team is already working on the agenda.

Other committee members included Professor Anirudha Mukherjee of the University of Calcutta, Arunabha Majumdar, former director-head of the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Anumita Roy Chaudhary, an expert at the Center for Science and Environment, and Sanjay Vashist, director of CANSA. Current, second is digital.

“We plan to create a sector-wise status report and recommendations; The inputs from the series of stakeholder meetings and finally, a matrix that integrates all the inputs is expected to come up with a coherent and viable climate action plan for the city within the stipulated period,” said Jayanta Basu, Communication Specialist with NGIO. Committee Member.

Last updated on 06.06.23, 08:51 PM

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