September 3, 2021 12:38:03 am
The Maharashtra government has paid over Rs 14,500 crore since 2019 as compensation to families who had incurred losses due to extreme events triggered by climate change, like extreme and unseasonal rainfall, floods, cyclones and drought.
The environment department on Wednesday tabled the presentation in the state cabinet highlighting the need for a climate action plan. “Coupled impacts of climate change and overexploitation of existing water resources are worsening the situation,” stated the presentation.
Since 2019, the state government has paid Rs 14,529.5 crore in compensation.
According to the presentation, following Cyclone Kyarr in 2019 and unseasonal and post-monsoon rainfall in October, the state government had paid the highest compensation amount of Rs 7,309.37 crore.
The total compensation paid in 2020 for flood victims in Vidarbha, people affected by hailstorm and heavy rains and flood, amounts to Rs 4,917 crore. However, if one adds compensation to the victims of heatwaves and lightning strikes, the amount climbs to Rs 13,000 crore alone last year.
The compensation is also likely to be more than Rs 11,000 crore this year, as the two extreme events between May and July — Cyclone Tauktae and July flood in Konkan— caused widespread loss.
Cyclone Tauktae killed 21, injured nine others, damaged 2,542 buildings and closed down the Mumbai airport for 11 hours, and the state government paid Rs 174. 60 crore to victims as compensation.
After July’s devastating floods that battered the Konkan region, leading to more than 7 lakh residents evacuated and 213 people dead, the state has disbursed Rs 53 crore compensation till now.
For the floods in July, the Maharashtra government earlier this month announced a relief package of Rs 11,500 crore for the massive floods.
The department also shared the sixth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report (IPCC), released last month, highlighting the warnings and predictions for the state.
The report warned that at least 12 Indian coastal cities, including Mumbai, face rising sea level of 0.1 metres to 0.3 metres in the next three decades due to climate change and extreme drought in Madhya Maharashtra.
The state government on Wednesday announced the formation of the State Council for Climate Change, based on the report.
The council is expected to consider decarbonizing the power sector, move towards electric, non-motorised transport system33 per cent mandatory green cover for industries, reforms in the agriculture sector, zero waste in urban areas and sustainable, eco-friendly buildings.
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