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A cyclist rides near India Gate in a hazy weather in New Delhi. (PTI)
A cyclist rides near India Gate in a hazy weather in New Delhi. (PTI)

Delhi Decoded: Is the national capital prepared to handle a disaster?

  • Delhi lies in a high seismic zone, and is also prone to cold and hot waves, along with floods and high levels of air pollution. Experts say there is a need to have efficient policies in place to tackle both natural and man-made disasters.

New Delhi: With the country and several parts of the globe still struggling to contain the covid-19 pandemic, there have been serious concerns over the lack of efficient policies for disaster management and proper forecast technologies.

A state like Delhi lies in a high seismic zone but is also prone to cold and hot waves along with floods and high levels of air pollution. The need for disaster management is also a part of the central government's Smart Cities Mission. Experts say that there is a need to have efficient policies in place to tackle situations which arise from both natural and man-made disasters.

“The state of Delhi is also heavily dependent on its neighbouring states. These states have a bigger role to play along with the role of the state of Delhi. Some of the environmental difficulties include air pollution, heavy rainfall, extreme heat and cold wave. If you are working in heat wave conditions then there is a loss of productivity of up to 40%. They need to become mainstream discussion agendas. They need to be integrated into plans and policies," Abinash Mohanty, Programme Lead, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, said in this podcast.

He said that when there are other events happening parallel then it will de-stabilize the system.

“Delhi has lost almost 38% of its wetlands which is why the flash floods cannot be restrained since wetlands act as absorbers. We have lost forest covers, wetlands, which causes increase in incidents like flooding, incessant rainfall and cloud bursts. Delhi is also prone to earthquakes. Imagine a condition when there is an early warning system predicting earthquake and heavy rainfall. These situations need to be planned for," he added.

Delhi Decoded is a weekly podcast. You can listen to all the episodes here.

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