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Chamoli tragedy occurred due to glacial burst: Javadekar

New Delhi: Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said in Rajya Sabha that the probe into the Chamoli disaster in Uttarakhand has not been concluded yet, but it appeared to occur due to a glacial burst which brought a huge amount of water and debris along with it.

Replying to a question during the ‘Question Hour’, Mr Javadekar said that whether it happened due to the construction of a power plant in the upper reaches is yet to be confirmed and six institutes have been studying the impact of climate change on glaciers.

“Retreating of glaciers happen. This is a kind of natural phenomenon and is also aggravated by climate change. No new project has been sanctioned in the upper-Ganga region,” Mr Javadekar said.

Responding to the deputy leader of Opposition Anand Shrma on the use of dynamites by the companies which result in huge loss of tree cover not only in Uttarakhand, the Environment Minister said that it true that Himalayas are still a young mountain range but “Whether dynamite is to be used or not is a highly technical issue. A high-level team is looking into it. We ensure that forest tree cover is not cut beyond what is permissible. They have to plant 10-fold trees in the given landscape,” he added.

“Climate change is not an area-specific problem. It is a problem of the entire globe. The funds promised in 2009 were Rs 100 billion dollars per year for developing countries. It is more than 1 trillion dollars now. Funds are not coming in the way they should. Financial and technological support is basic to mitigating the impact of climate change,” Mr Javadekar informed the House.

Denying the comment of Shiv Sena Member Priyanka Chaturvedi that the government was in denial mode on climate change, Mr Javadekar said, “I never said that unseasonal rain and climate change are not linked. I said that not every change can be linked to climate change. I had a meeting with the corporates. They are also working hard to fight climate change by planting more and more trees”.

Responding to the question of the former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh if the capacity or supply target of solar energy has been achieved, he said that the nation will have 40 percent of our energy capacity met by 2030 through solar energy.

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