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CM was warned of drought last month: Pachauri

In less than 24 hours after the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s admission that the country is facing draught like situation...

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
July 12, 2009 12:26:38 am

In less than 24 hours after the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s admission that the country is facing draught like situation,another revelation came to the fore on Saturday — the Maharashtra Chief Minister was warned of drought only last month by none other than the chief of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) R K Pachauri.

Pachauri was speaking from Delhi at a teleconference on ‘International Conference on Reverence for Mother Earth: Solutions to Combat Global Warming’,organised in the city. Chairman of Vanrai Mohan Dharia presided over the conference. Pachauri said he had a meeting with the Chief Minister last month where he discussed various issues related to climate change. “I had informed the CM about the extreme precipitation events taking place due to climate change. We had predicted that some rural parts of Maharashtra might face draught owing to extreme precipitation events,” he said. Pachauri said the heavy rains in Mumbai in 2005 had also happened due to extreme precipitation events. “These events are going to multiply in coming years. Though there may be heavy rains in some parts,most of the tropical and sub-tropical areas may be receiving lower rainfall,” he said.

He said the climate change was a symptom of a larger problem. “Issues like implementation of sustainable development policies should be looked into seriously. There is a need to make changes in lifestyle and make it more in harmony with the nature,” he said.

Referring to global warming,Pachauri said the IPCC has projected increase of 1.1 to 6.4 degree Celsius in the next century. “The signs of this increase are already evident in the form of intense heat waves across the world. In 2003,around 35,000 people died in Europe due to heat waves. It has reduced the crop yield too. In India,the effect is seen in decreasing wheat production,” he said.

“The lack of reverence to mother earth is compounding the issue. However,solutions are there. Reducing greenhouse gases by reducing burning of fossil fuels can be done immediately,” he said. He,however,warned that it should be done at a much faster rate.

Eminent scientists Raghunath Mashelkar,Vijay Bhatkar,vice consular of the US Dines Tidwell,Vandana Chavan of NGO Alert were also present on the occasion. President of World Foundation on Reverence for All Life Bahri B R Malhotra welcomed the guest,secretary J G Patil proposed the vote of thanks.

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