Odishatv Bureau

Braving the intense heat wave, leaders of all the political parties are hitting the campaign trail, raising the political temperatures on a host of issues – women empowerment, unemployment and the plight of farmers -- for the 2024 elections. But they are hardly concerned about issues like environment and climate change, even if these issues bear much significance now, with mercury soaring to almost 46 Degrees Celsius in many places across Odisha.

Worryingly, the temperatures in Odisha were recently among the highest in Asia.

On the other hand, forests are burning, most rivers in Odisha are running dry and groundwater level is rapidly plummeting. 
All such issues are missing from the poll agendas of the political parties even though they are adversely impacting the socio-economic life of the people.

Since the 1999 super cyclone, Odisha has been frequented by almost 10 big and small cyclones and scores of thunderstorms which flattened crores of big trees across the state. Cyclone Fani also dealt a death blow to the greenery in many pockets and caused irreparable damage to the environment. 

Besides, ecological decimation is on the rise due to rapid urbanization, infrastructure development, roads, railways and industries. Official data say, about 1.85 core trees have been chopped off between 2010 and 2021. Many are really worried about the wanton mining of mineral resources in forests and hills. 

In the past, environmentalists had predicted the disastrous impact of climate change, which can already be seen and felt now.    

From 1950 till date, the global economy has grown 15 times more, but at the cost of biodiversity, which has been declining fast. Environmentalists warned that the loss of biodiversity poses an existential threat to the human race. 

The IMD warned that the heat wave will be intense this year in the country. As per the IMD, temperatures and humidity have increased by 30 per cent since 1990.  

According to a study conducted by the World Weather Attribution in 2023, south Asia was worst affected by factors like humidity and temperature rise. 

Though these are issues of grave nature, no political parties seem to be giving importance to these aspects in their manifestos.

By Dilip Sabat

(He can be reached out at: dksawat@gmail.com)

(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are the author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)