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Climate change study yet to begin

Maharashtra’s ambitious climate change study is yet to take off.

mumbai Updated: Feb 08, 2010 01:14 IST
Soubhik Mitra

Maharashtra’s ambitious climate change study is yet to take off.

More than six months after the government appointed Delhi-based Energy and Research Institute (TERI), headed by climate scientist Dr RK Pachauri, to assess areas in the state vulnerable to climate change, the Rs 80-lakh project has not moved beyond the drawing board.

The two-year study is yet to begin because the state government has not issued a final list of details explaining the manner in which it wants the study done.

But sources in the state environment ministry claim that the state wants to wait and see the outcome of the controversy involving Pachauri for allegedly misusing his position in the Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change to benefit TERI.

“There would be policy changes on the basis of the study findings. The government does not want to take any risks,” said a senior Mantralaya official requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to talk to the media. Suresh Shetty, state environment minister, denied this.

“We have to complete some formalities,” he said, but did not mention when the study is likely to begin. Dr Sanjay Tomar, heading the team of TERI scientists for the study, confirmed that they are waiting for the final nod from the government.

“We are expecting to begin work by next month,” he said.

A climate change sub-committee, headed by the chief minister, had sanctioned the study in June 2009 — a month after the Indian Meteorological Department found that Mumbai has become hotter by 1.62 degree Celsius in the last 100 years.

With rainfall patterns getting erratic the research paper was commissioned to study the impacts of climate change on agriculture, sea level rise and temperature fluctuations.