Chennai to work on climate change; State government proposes an action plan

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An action plan on climate change was drafted and released by the state government on February 4, 2020. The plan proposed recently aims to carry out 199 planned activities in seven key sectors by 2030.

The document has been shared on the Department of Environment’s website, and the common man is invited to give further suggestions.

The plan has been prepared in correspondence with Nationally Determined Contribution, which the country presented under the Paris Agreement in 2015, said environment secretary Shambu Kallolikar. “The total resource requirement is expected to be Rs 3.24 lakh crore. After accounting from all possible sources, there will still be a gap of Rs 1.04 lakh crore,” he said. The project’s implementation would effectively start in January 2021.

Areas of focus

Sustainable agriculture, water resources, forest and biodiversity, coastal area management, strategic knowledge for climate change, enhanced energy efficiency and solar mission, and sustainable habitat are the areas that will be focused in the plan. Among all these, sustainable habitat calls for the highest budgetary allocation of Rs 1,27,489 crore.

A total of 24 projects are proposed with a focus on housing, drinking water, urban development, sanitation, pollution and making green urban spaces. Officials said that the new action plan will be a continuation of the previous plan implemented from 2012-17.

Though, water resources are a problem in the execution of the plan. Tamil Nadu constitutes 4% of India’s land area and is inhabited by 6% of India’s population, but has only 2.5% of India’s water resources. More than 95% of surface water and 80% of ground water have already been put into use. “Agriculture is the largest consumer of water using 75% of its water resources. Demands from other sectors like domestic and industries have been growing significantly. The projected demand for water in 2050 has increased to 57,725 mcm,” notes the draft plan, and proposes to implement 10 projects at a cost of Rs 19,041 crore.