The Hyderabad floods have reached their worst form. If you look beyond the figures, the visuals coming out are quite intimidating. There are many painful stories of people like a 2-month-old newborn being swept away in the flood. An adult man can also be seen drifting in a strong current of water. The people on the roofs of their houses trying to save him by throwing a rope. But, all their efforts fail in front of the unbelievable flow of flood.
There is some pain that cannot be compensated through any relief package, any insurance claim. Are these sudden floods in the southern states, coastal states, even in other states due to a change in the pattern of rainfall? Is climate change not responsible for this? Sudden drought-like conditions are forming in many areas with high rainfall, while areas with less rainfall are suddenly receiving more rainfall. Total annual rainfall in seven states has decreased to a great extent according to 30 years of data between 1989 and 2018. Major states from Hindi heartland UP and Bihar and northeast states Mizoram and Nagaland are also facing a decrease in the rain.
According to agriculture or groundwater conservation, this situation is quite worrisome. Especially for a country like India where about 55% of the farming is dependent on rain and this is why monsoon is called the finance generator of the country. Experts say that the gradual rains that have been taking place slowly for several weeks were not only suitable for farming and gardening but also used to recharge groundwater. It does not only cause loss of agriculture but also does not raise the groundwater level.
Heavy rainy days are continuously increasing in Saurashtra, Kutch, southeast Rajasthan, northern Tamil Nadu, and parts of Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, the graph of heavy rainy days has gone up in parts of southwest Orissa along with Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and some areas of Madhya Pradesh.
India has enough granaries. India is still a place where 70% of the population is directly or indirectly connected to agriculture for their employment. Many of these people are poor and agricultural labourers. Repeated crop loss due to unexpected seasonal changes will destroy the income of these people. If they have no money at all, does it not threaten their food security?
If seen from the perspective of climate change, then the whole world is affected by it. But the potential pitfalls can be avoided or mitigated by following the suggestions of experts. But Hyderabad seems to have shown a lot of irresponsibility on this side.
In an international conference held a year ago in Hyderabad, it was said that most new buildings in Hyderabad are not capable of dealing with disasters. Also, there is a possibility of flooding in the local areas where there has been a drought till now. But even then, measures were not taken to deal with future disasters.
Antarctica’s ice sheet has begun to melt, according to recent research by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center. Its ice is melting in large quantities, and we will not be able to get it back to its old condition. The world’s major trading centres, New York, Tokyo, and Kolkata will be at risk.
These sheets are a total of 2 km thick and cover an area as large as the US and Mexico. We can estimate its importance from the fact that 90% of the total ice on the earth comes from it. Apart from this, it is also the source of 70% of the clean water available on earth.
In February this year, Antarctica recorded a temperature of 20℃ Celsius for the first time. According to the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016, a total of 120 countries had agreed to achieve the target of zero carbon emissions. Which included 452 cities and 1000 industries. But this America once again walked out of this agreement, alleging India and China for more carbon emission.
Gandhi might have rightly said, “This earth can fulfil the needs of all of us but not our greed.”