KOCHI: Climate and environment experts have come down heavily on the government for totally ignoring the early warning system, flood zonation mapping, climate change adaptation and mitigation programmes in the budget presented by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac. Despite facing the century’s worst floods in August last year, the government has not taken early warning system seriously, they alleged.
“It is unfortunate that the budget is silent on the major topics to be focused after the extreme natural disaster. Setting up a scientific early warning system, drafting disaster prevention and management plan and conducting comprehensive flood zonation mapping are of utmost importance. No funds have been allocated for any such projects,” said Dr. C.G. Madhusoodhanan, climate change expert from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
“In an age of climate variability when chances of extreme natural events are high, the government should take proactive measures to prevent and mitigate its impact. There is no justification for not allocating funds for disaster warning, prevention and management programmes. At least Rs.10 crore could have been allocated for such initiatives,” he added.
“Even after facing a disaster of such magnitude, which was caused due to the opening of dams in an unplanned manner without giving appropriate warnings to the people, the government is not serious about steps to be taken to handle climate adaptation issues,” he said.
Kochi: Meanwhile, Dr Sunny George, director of SCMS Water Institute, which has prepared a flood preparedness plan for Meloor panchayat in Thrissur, observed that it is the local bodies which should initiate and identify funds for such programmes. “Local bodies can more efficiently initiate projects for disaster warning, prevention and preparedness plans using annual Plan fund allocation,” he said....