ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Time to Dust Off the Climate Plan?

The Uttarakhand disaster invited much criticism, but to say that the state government was unaware of the possibility of such a disaster would be unfair. In 2012 the Uttarakhand Action Plan on Climate Change, based on wide consultations, assessed possibilities and steps needed to avert such disasters. Despite the extensive information provided in the document, it fails to be "implementable" due to issues of financing and bureaucratic initiative among others.

It has been some months since the disaster in Uttarakhand unfolded. A tragedy of this magnitude has, quite justifiably, invited criticism on state response mechanisms, institutional inadequacies, development trajectories, prediction techniques, and a slew of other concerns targeting growth and governance in the state. But, lost in these criticisms is the fact that Uttarakhand had begun the process of preparing and planning for such events, even if implementation lagged behind.

In June 2012, the state had finalised the Uttarakhand Action Plan on Climate Change (UAPCC), a document that took into account several of the underlying concerns that led to the disaster. The question going forward is whether exercises such as this, if done properly, can help Uttarakhand and other fragile states be better prepared to tackle such disasters in the future.

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