Study: Climate change making Odisha vulnerable to cyclones | India News

BHUBANESWAR: A joint study conducted by professors of National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) and Berhampur University has suggested that the frequency of cyclones in coastal Odisha has gone up alarmingly since 1999, the year of the Super Cyclone. The paper said while the state faced 10 cyclones since since 1737, between 1999 and 2021, it faced nine, including two of the most disastrous ones – Phailin (2013) and Fani (2019), the later being an extremely severe cyclonic storm.
The study – conducted by Amarendra Das, associate professor of school of economics, humanities and social sciences, NISER; Sasmita Behera, a research scholar at NISER and Dr Bibhunandini Das, assistant professor of economics at Berhampur University – focuses on micro level (at panchayat and urban body) funding, planning and preparedness to mitigate disasters.
It broadly stresses on making panchayats and urban bodies self-sufficient in terms of funding to handle natural calamities – flood, cyclone, drought, heatwave and earthquake – at their end. For this, the researchers said the local self-governance institutions need to be accorded statutory power so that they are able to take their own decisions.


“Owing to climate change, Odisha has been facing quite a few challenges in terms of natural calamities – be it flood, cyclone in coastal region or unbearable heatwave across the state, mostly in western districts. The sixth assessment report of inter-governmental panel on climate change (IPCC) forecasts that global warming will increase by 1.5 degree Celsius between 2021 and 2040, compared to the mean temperature of pre-industrial era (1850-1900),” said Das.
In December, 2021, the Odisha government had brought an ordinance to amend the Odisha Grama Panchayat Act (OGPA), 1964, and Odisha Panchayat Samiti Act (OPSA), 1959. Thus, the government had expanded the powers of the panchayats provided under Clause 44 (h), which required them to introduce measures to control the spread of epidemic and other infectious diseases. The amendment also empowered the panchayats to prepare disaster management plan at the village level.
The paper said local governance has the advantage of being close to the communities and that can help assess the vulnerabilities of the people.

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