Water shortage, threatening power shortage and now rising temperature only add to the woes of already miserable people
Andaman & Nicobar Islands too appear to have caught up with Global Climate change with mercury dipping below 20 degrees Celsius in November and soaring almost to 35 degrees in the first half of April.
The streets and thoroughfares look deserted during the day till the weather turns a little pleasant in the late afternoon. Water scarcity has added to the woes of the people. They don’t have the luxury of taking a bath twice a day because the every-third-day water supply barely meets their daily essential requirement.
Water & Power Crises
With increasing temperature, the threat of further cut in the daily water supply could not be ruled out though the authorities keep on reassuring that there would not be any further cut.
The traders are having a field day as the sale of airconditioners and air coolers has registered a sharp increase. “Out of every ten inquiries, seven are for airconditioners” said a dealer. “Today I got 25 air coolers and by evening every single piece was sold out” said another dealer. “If the trend continues, it will have a serious bearing on power supply as well” said a senior engineer of electricity department. “And we don’t have any reserve power” he added.
The rural areas do suffer unscheduled power cuts wherever there are temporary minor problems in gensets.
The data on last 30 years temperature chart show that the maximum temperature hovered well under 30 degrees till 1990. Since 1991 it started crossing 30 degree barrier but still remained under 31 degrees till 2007. (The data for 2008 and 2009 are still under compilation in the Directorate of Statistics, A&N Administration).
However, this year the mercury had started soaring since March itself. The temperature on March 31 was 34.4 degrees; quite high from Islands standards. The hottest day recorded so far was however April 09, 2010 when the temperature touched almost 35 degrees; 34.9 degrees Celsius.
The night temperature too has recorded in increase recently. The 30-year record shows the last minimum temperature fluctuating between 23 and 24 degrees. But since March it hovers between 25 and 26; an increase of 2 degrees Celsius.
Port Blair – A Hot Spot
Concrete and asphalt greet a visitor at every corner. The reinforced cement concrete construction all around without any green cover anywhere has turned Port Blair into a hot spot climatically. The comforts of wooden buildings have become a thing of the past. The green cover has obviously given way to more RCC buildings. The Municipality does not have a mandate to maintain a certain level of green cover in town. The huge siris and banyan trees planted during colonial era have been felled to widen the roads or for construction of buildings– demands of modern civilization.
Nobody, not even the administration is prepared to go beyond municipality for construction residential and non-residential buildings. Every single space is utilized for buildings without leaving any place for open spaces or green cover.
“Port Blair needs a robust pair of lungs that only green cover can provide” SS Choudhury, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests had once said in an informal conversation. But that was a cry in wilderness. .
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