Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: With the mercury rising with an accelerating rate these days, the State has already lost 17 lives due to heat wave like condition. Scientists blame global warming for this extreme situation. To address this issue, a panel discussion was organised on ‘Global warming, its remedies and necessity of afforestation’ here by ‘Prerna’, a social organization which works for the environmental causes.

Addressing the programme, regional Meteorological director Sarat Chandra Sahoo said, “Over the decade, the climate has extremely changed. Even a few years back, the maximum temperature of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack used to hover around 36-37 degree Celsius. But now it touches 41-42 degree Celsius. The temperature in Titilagarh, Talcher and Jharsuguda has sometimes touched 45 degree.”

Blaming global warming for such scorching heat, Sahoo explained that destroying green cover for urbanization is one of the main causes behind this. He said, “The ecological balance has been harmed due to fast urbanization. We have also tampered with the water bodies and natural forest.”

Surendra Pashupalak, head of the department of Agricultural Meteorology of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), environmentalists Bhagirathi Behera and Sundar Narayan Patra were some of the dignitaries present among the panelists.

Patra suggested that the companies who acquire forest land or green areas for industrial purpose should plant two to three times more than what was demolished due to their project. He also stressed that the government should make such rules mandatory for the companies.

“Indigenous plants should be used for social afforestation. As they are acclimatised to the local climate, it won’t take long for the indigenous plants to adapt the environment,” he explained.