The letter to the chief minister claims that despite the Union Health Ministry's warnings about the significant health and socioeconomic repercussions of heatwaves, the Delhi administration has demonstrated apathy towards this issue
In response to the lack of urgency and lack of action in reducing the effects of excessive heat episodes on vulnerable individuals in the nation's capital, Greenpeace India wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Members of Greenpeace India also held a protest at the Delhi Secretariat, calling on the city government to implement a thorough heat action plan (HAP) by the end of June. According to the letter to the chief minister, the Delhi government has shown apathy toward this matter despite the Union Health Ministry's warnings about the serious health and socio-economic effects of heatwaves.
The main form of government response to economically harmful and lethal heat waves is HAPs. To lessen the effects of heatwaves, they recommend a range of activities, disaster responses, and post-heatwave reaction measures. We stressed the urgent necessity for the Delhi administration to release and implement a heat response plan given the terrible effects more than half of Delhi's population will experience during the 2022 heatwaves. Avinash Kumar Chanchal, campaign manager for Greenpeace India, added that we also submitted a thorough list of requests to address the problem efficiently.
These requirements include releasing the draft HAP for public comment by the end of June, incorporating scientific climate projections based on hyperlocal data, tailoring adaptation and mitigation measures to different vulnerable groups, establishing early warning systems, identifying and aiding the most vulnerable populations, ensuring policy integration across relevant departments, establishing a centralised funding mechanism, making HAPs legally binding, and providing urgent healthcare for heatstroke-affected individuals, and incorporating nature-based cooling systems and green spaces in the plan. In light of the forecasts for even more intense summers with the impending effects of El Nino, Greenpeace India asked the AAP administration to give priority to these requests and take action right away to prevent human and economic fatalities.
El Nino, the warming of the Pacific Ocean waters close to South America, is typically linked to a weakened monsoon wind pattern and dry weather in India. According to a report released in May by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the majority of India would experience a rise of 12–18 days in the length of heatwaves by 2060.According to research written by scientists Kamaljit Ray, S S Ray, R K Giri, and A P Dimri, as well as M Rajeevan, a former secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, more than 17,000 lives were lost in India due to heat waves over the course of 50 years.
According to the paper, if preventative and reactive measures are not adopted, a small increase in average temperature or a modest lengthening of heatwaves could cause a considerable rise in mortality rates in India. On a national level, India has not yet formally recognised heatwaves as a natural catastrophe. Extremely hot spells can have a huge impact on human health, but research has also shown that many crops can experience reproductive failure and output reductions that are severe.