Beware, Climate Change Guru Cautions Mumbaikars

Mumbai, Jan 5: Mumbai’s commuters are not the only ones to complain about the city’s woeful infrastructure. They have found a voice in the chairman of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC and  co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, Dr RK Pachauri, who was in Mumbai today.

He termed the city’s infrastructure woeful and inadequate. “Transportation system and green house gases emissions are interlinked. Unless you improve the former, you can’t cut down on the latter.”

Dr Pachauri said that as far as Mumbai was concerned, “Emission apart, poor transportation system means that there are more cars on the road, which results in a number of local problems like congestion and  air pollution”.

Dr Pachauri has earlier pointed out that the proliferation of small cars would result in a nightmarish situation on emission levels as well as congestion.

Asked if small cars were such a big problem, Dr Pachauri said  he wasn’t against the ownership of cars, whether small or big. “There’s nothing wrong in people wanting to own cars. However, if the public transport is improved, it would automatically reduce the car usage,” he said.

Speaking about the consequences for Mumbai as a result of global warming, Dr Pachauri said the rise in sea-level would be accompanied by a rise in frequency of extremely heavy rain, like 26/7, which could affect Mumbai’s economy. “Mumbai had better prepare itself to face these challenges in the near future.

Besides improving public transport, the city will also need a better drainage system,” he said. As a result of rising sea levels, Mumbai would face water shortages and heat waves, he added. Earlier in the day, Dr Pachauri met governor SM Krishna.


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