Turning Down The Heat - Eastern Mirror
Sunday, July 21, 2024

Turning Down the Heat

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jul 08, 2024 12:04 am

From temperatures touching as high as 50 degrees Celsius to 228.1 mm of rainfall in just 24 hours, marking a 266% departure from normal, the national capital, Delhi, experienced extreme weather conditions in June. According to NASA, Delhi has gone through this unprecedented phenomenon due to the rise in the Earth’s temperature, as every degree increase in temperature creates 7% more water vapour in the atmosphere. This theory explains Delhi’s climatic situation: before the heavy downpour that severely disrupted normal life in the capital, Delhi’s temperature was above 40 degrees Celsius for 40 consecutive days, thus providing an indication of an impending disaster.

It’s a pity that despite the warnings, the authorities were reluctant to take precautionary measures to protect the city and its people. As usual, the authorities took action only after the deluge, which was limited to distributing relief supplies and completely ignoring the main issues at hand. If the authorities in Delhi continue to ignore obvious signs of impending danger, global warming may soon make the capital city unfit for living. To improve living conditions in Delhi, authorities need to take stringent measures to curb vehicular pollution. With its well-linked Metro network and a sizeable fleet of CNG-operated vehicles for mass transport, an awareness drive should be launched to encourage people living in the capital to opt for public transport. Among Indian metropolitan cities, Delhi has the highest number of vehicles on its roads. The number of vehicles plying in Delhi should be checked to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

At the same time, more trees should be planted in the national capital, as it is a potent weapon in combating global warming. The capital city does not feature on the list of the top five most forested states in India. It goes without saying that, considering the amount of emissions in the city, the effort to plant trees in the city should be prioritised.

Similarly, Delhi needs to create man-made water bodies, as naturally occurring ones have mercilessly been destroyed in the name of urbanisation. Creating water bodies will not only help the city store excess rainwater but may also offer a solution to Delhi’s drinking water crisis. The same policy could also be adopted as a blueprint to tackle climate-induced problems in other Indian cities. Several cities in the country have been experiencing hostile weather conditions for the last few years. Like Delhi, Bengaluru has also been severely affected by unplanned growth. The water crisis in the garden city may force an exodus sooner rather than later if immediate steps are not taken to address the problem. Henceforth, infrastructure must be developed with sustainability as a priority. Otherwise, like Delhi, many Indian cities may face erratic climatic conditions in the near future.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jul 08, 2024 12:04:25 am
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