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31 March 2008

Cry beloved city - Mumbai under water.

Mumbai city

First we were rude, then dirty , now doomed - if the news reports are anything to go by.

“According to the research conducted at NASA, the sea level will rise by around five meters. Once this happens, major parts of Mumbai and Kolkata would be submerged under water,” said Brikesh Singh, a Greenpeace campaigner. According to the study, areas like Marine Drive, Race Course, Mumbai Central railway station, Sasoon Dock, Mazgaon Dock, part of Bandra Kurla Complex, Mira Bhayander, Juhu Airport and part of JVPD will be under water.

In this case, even without any media reports, I'd believe it - after all I was in the city on 26/7 during the Mumbai floods.

Leading dailies carried this story and some other parts of the study quoted were;

About 75 million people from Bangladesh would migrate to India as climate change, rise in sea levels, drought, shrinking water supplies and monsoon variability takes a toll on coastal states and regions. In all, about 125 million migrants, including 50 million from densely populated coastal regions and other vulnerable parts of India, could become homeless.

The scale of migration would be equivalent to the Partition ten times over. It would displace 375 times the number of people needing rehabilitation from the Sardar Sarovar project.

This is the grim picture painted by S Chella Rajan, a professor at IIT Chennai, in his report titled Climate Migrants in South Asia: Estimates and Solutions, if the country continues to follow the current “business-as-usual’’ approach and fails to take policy interventions to check the impending crisis.

More than the report itself what caught my attention were certain sound bytes given by prominent people interviewed who opined that the report is 'exaggerated' ( I think it is also a politically correct usage to say it is trash, it is lies, what rubbish).

I am all for moderation and would discourage exaggeration unless some artistic endeavour or occasion demands it.

In this case I enquire what exactly is the exaggeration part in the report that the leading personalities who were quoted were making reference to?

  • That Mumbai will not drown in 2010 but maybe 2050 or 3050?
  • That it will not drown under 20 feet of water it will be only 5.75 feet of water?
  • That 125 mn people will not be displaced, it will be only 112 mn people?
  • The entire basis is flawed and it should be thrown out of the window, a doomsday prediction like 'pralay' in the ancient texts.
  • Something like- boring, boring, stupid report-take it away!

I am not being sarcastic- really. Only curious.

But I am not surprised at the lack of will displayed to address the issue. If there was any concern at all, we would not have allowed the environment to come to this situation of degradation in the first place.

4 comments:

Cynic in Wonderland said...

thats scary stuff!

Deepa said...

Yes indeed it is. But no one seems worried :) Good to have you back after a gap!

elsbar62 said...

I certainly hope it won't be that bad

Deepa said...

Thank you elsbar62 for the comforting words. And for visiting too!

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