A River named Kolkata
Climate change took its tole on it first victim as Venice was hit by second largest high tide in the recorded history ,turning its street into gushing river of flash flood,a sign that climate change is not a joke now. Like Venice,many coastal cities around the world faces the same fate,especially the ones in the subcontinent of India.
According to climate central study performed by NASA’s Shuttle radar topography misson (SRTM) , they have underestimated the severity of the risk of rising sea level until now. A new research done by a US-based agency claims that more than three and a half crore people in India–as against the 50 lakh estimated earlier– could actually be affected by annual coastal flooding by 2050 and that large parts of Mumbai, and Kolkata could be inundated and practically be under water if global CO2 emissions are not cut drastically.
In another research conducted by Jadavpur University in Kolkata states that Bay of Bengal is rising faster than Arabian sea at a rate of 1.35mm per year. Estimating various parts of Kolkata,specialy low lying areas of Northern part of the city might be completely under water by 2050.
Kolkata had natural defences in form of Ganges river to the west and wetlands to the east which all emptys into the delta region of Sundarbans and then to the Bay of Bengal. The city’s lakes and creeks could absorb the excess rain water along with the help of the soft clay soil that the city stands upon.
But today Kolkata’s old ‘ khal‘ or canal system, which acted as an effective drainage system for some three centuries is in disrepair. Many wastewater conduits out of the city such as storm-water drains, sewers and canals are silted. Gully pits are blocked and hence there is a time lag for water to reach the pumping stations which leads to flooding on the surface. Poor solid waste management, along with an overburden of plastic is the culprit. In the metropolitan part of the city, an area of low lying field which use to absorb the run off water is now filled up to what is now called as New Kolkata. Demise of water boadies , along with rapid extraction of groundwater which causing certain parts of the city to sink further more,leads to the increasing risk of the city going under during the heavy monsoons.