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Javadekar Acknowledges Chennai Floods ‘Unprecedented Natural Disaster’

Union Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar, who has de-linked Chennai floods as a testimony of climate change in Paris on the sidelines of Global Conference has acknowledged on Friday the rain fury was a "natural disaster of unprecedented scale."

Terming it as a lesson to rethink on urban planning and city governance, he said:"Chennai is a natural disaster of unprecedented scale…Chennai gives a lesson and we must learn from this lesson and improve our urban planning and improve the City governance which is very essential."

However, the minister denied to link it to a phenomena of climate change for want of expert opinion or scientific evidence due to grey area of climate research connecting the floods to global warming.

While any damage suit at the UNFCCC would be scrapped as it doesn’t have any conclusive evidence, he said the frequency of such disasters should ring in bells of caution. "One thing is sure that climate change brings such disasters more frequently. So frequency increases, ferocity increases of untimely rains, of erratic monsoon, of drought, of floods, so all these are caused," he told PTI.

The minister also pointed out Chennai’s clogged drains due to encroachments that has precipitated the flood-like situation in the city. "Unless you allow the drains to allow to flow freely to the sea, water will be clogged," he said.

Referring to earlier floods in the country, especially in Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir, he blamed the illegal constructions on the river bed as the main cause of these floods.

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