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Plan to manage climate change

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 26: Bhubaneswar has become one among six cities in the country to begin a project on climate related risk management.

The city will prepare a plan for climate change adaptations arising from heat wave, flood and cyclone. The project will continue till September 2015.

The project, being executed in collaboration with the Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will also be implemented in cities such as Gangtok, Shimla, Thiruvananthapuram, Madurai and Vijayawada.

In Bhubaneswar, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation is the executing agency and the Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority (OSDMA) is providing technical support.

“Risks of disasters arising from rapid climate change are witnessed by many cities in the world. The flood in Surat and cloudburst in Mumbai that resulted in serious urban flooding has caused concern and the focus has now shifted from rural flooding to urban flood management. In this project, we will prepare a city disaster management plan, hazard risk and vulnerability analysis and warning system,” said state project officer, OSDMA, Kamal Lochan Mishra.

City coordinator of the climate risk management project Meghnad Behera said: “Durga puja pandals in four major places in the city in October or November are packed with lakhs of visitors every day, but there is no preparedness for severe rainfall or cyclone though the city is vulnerable to those. We only find fire-fighting capabilities near the pandals. The time has come to educate the community about climate-related disaster management.”

The project will also include sessions involving community leaders — ward councillors. Orientation workshops will be organised for government departments to devise standard operating procedures.