Panaji: Goa could become the first state to have a State Urban Climate Resilience Policy. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) that has been working with the Corporation of the City of Panaji for the past two years under the USAID-sponsored Climate Resilient Infrastructure Services has partnered with the Goa State Urban Development Agency to prepare a road map for the policy.
TERI has already prepared a first draft of the policy and submitted it to the GSUDA and the town and country planning department on Wednesday morning for consideration, also discussing it with departments of water resources, PWD, forest, GSPCB and GCZMA among others. TERI is fine-tuning the draft and hopes to have it ready to submit to the Goa cabinet by December.
The policy could become a guiding factor for other states to follow suit.
Although there's much to be done, principal investigator of the programme and TERI fellow Divya Sharma says that it's fortunate to work with GSUDA and have the government's support for the policy right from the beginning.
"We worked very closely with the CCP for two years and the government is keen to prepare itself for climate change. There hasn't been any decline in their interest level."
Goa is expected to witness a sea level rise of one metre in the next 100 years. This rise together with extreme rainfall could flood coastal as well as inland Goa where areas like Patto, Ribanar, St Inez, Campal, Caranzalem are likely to get inundated or waterlogged.
Goa's real estate has buried khazan lands under concrete. Altinho, which was one of the sponges of the city with springs at the bottom of the hill, is under pressure of development from construction on its slopes, a documentary by TERI and presented at the National Conference of Climate Resilient Coastal cities last year states.
St Inez nullah that absorbed the high tide of the River Mandovi is now polluted and choked. The worst impacted by the high tide are the low-lying slums of the city, the documentary further states.
Goa is not prone to cyclones like states on the east coast, but to precipitation and excessive rainfall, TERI fellow and team member, Ashwini Panandiker, said.