Surat : We are all familiar with ‘ Koel’. Most of are happy to listen to Koel singing .How does Koel knew of ‘ cumulonimbus clouds?. Clouds that are known as thunder heads. Clouds that produce rain , thunder and lightning.
This summer I could hear Koel as early by middle of May on morning walks. Intensity of Koel’s loud distinctive calls this summer was unusual. It was for long hours that it seemed Koel was literally warning of the impending rains. I knew that rain is arriving early .Office weather forecast was not yet announced. Dates when rain would reach Kerala, Goa, Mumbai and Surat was not yet predicted.
But, our companion in nature around us knew. It was not just going to be pre-monsoon showers, or early rains but cyclone was on the way.
Would proper Doppler system could tell us what Koel did?
Cyclones, thunderstorms, heavy rains and flooding are seen more often now. Past week, there were unusual rains that resulted in devastating floods in Japan, a country which is better prepared nation.
What is climate change bringing to us ? Heavy rains in a short period causing devastation. What can an individual and the local civic body like the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) must do to better prepare its citizens for climate change’?
Rains may stop after huge intensity, but flooding of streets can disrupt traffic for a while. But, for some things change permanently when a building collapses . Hopefully. over the years Surtis have learnt to evacuate and face the devastation without the loss of life. Administration is also better prepared to warn and evacuate low lying areas.
However, few buildings are lost or damaged beyond repair. When such tragedy takes place, SMC must immediately buy that area. Compensation will help occupants who lost dwellings to resettle.
SMC gets possession of scarce space in the fastest growing city of India. SMC should use this space to create micro forest . Time has come for the diamond city to increase its green space and address the growing issues of air pollution.
At individual level, denizens can create ‘Terrace Gardens’. At SMC level , green spaces can be increased for each Municipal ward. Such green spaces would help in reducing temperature in the micro climate where they come up.
Such greenery will help absorb the precipitation in a better manner. Flooding of streets can be reduced by channeling water to green spaces, which ideally can be at each five thousand feet intervals.
At least the bigger trees would attract’ Koel’ and give us the indication that cooler days are ahead.
BY NAINISH PAREKH
(Author is a social and environment activist. Views described here are his own)