The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), in collaboration with the Government of Karnataka, is conducting a two-day national workshop on Preparedness, Mitigation and Management of Heat Wave in Bengaluru, beginning today. With this workshop, the National Disaster Management Authority has initiated efforts well in advance of the Heat wave season.
Heat wave has emerged as one of the major severe weather events around the globe in recent years. Climate change is driving temperatures higher as well as increasing the frequency and severity of heat waves. India too is experiencing increased instances of heat waves every year – 23 States were affected by heat waves in 2019, up from 19 in 2018. Many cities recorded all-time high temperatures, exceeding 45 degrees Celsius in some of the worst-affected States this year. NDMA has been closely working with vulnerable States to reduce the adverse impacts of heat wave.
Sustained efforts – timely release, updation and effective implementation of the National Guidelines on Heat Wave, preparation of Heat Action Plans by vulnerable States and cities, regular follow-up and monitoring by NDMA, extensive awareness generation campaigns, preparedness workshops in 2017, 2018 and 2019 – have significantly brought down the number of heat-related deaths and illnesses in the past few years.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri G. V. V. Sarma, Member Secretary, NDMA, emphasised upon the importance of the workshop by stating that Climate Change has led to rise of average summer temperature by 0.5oC in past five years. Since 2016, much has been done already with the active involvement of different state governments and civil society. The number of deaths due to heat wave related illnesses has reduced drastically. However, there is no scope for complacency. He said that this workshop will further help various stakeholders to understand the phenomenon of Heat wave, and thus enable them in mitigating its affects.
Over the next two days, a range of topics from impact of Climate Change to emerging technologies, and from lessons learnt from the past to inter-agency co-ordination will be discussed in subsequent technical sessions. Members and senior officials from NDMA, experts on heat wave, early warning and forecasting agencies, State governments, research institutions and members of the civil society are participating in the workshop.