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Climate Change: Delhi May Suffer Losses Of Rs2.75 Trillion By 2050

The draft action plan on climate change has projected that the national capital may suffer losses of ₹2.75 trillion by 2050 due to the impacts of climate change, with changes in precipitation and temperature patterns posing significant threats to the lives of the most vulnerable populations.

"At an aggregate level, the total cost of climate change for Delhi by mid century is expected to be ₹2.75 trillion," the draft action plan states. The projections show a rise in maximum temperatures in Delhi by 1.5 degrees Celsius based on the RCP 4.5 scenario, and a 2.1-degree Celsius increase based on the RCP 8.5 scenario by mid-century. A detailed district-specific vulnerability assessment was conducted for the national capital in which south Delhi was identified as the most vulnerable and New Delhi the least.

In the 36 hours beginning at 8.30 am on July 8, Delhi recorded an unprecedented 260 mm of rainfall - prompting the government to issue a flood warning and shut schools temporarily. The existing stormwater drainage system in Delhi is prone to congestion, primarily caused by waste and sewage, leading to sluggish water flow. Different parts of Delhi experience annual flooding due to factors such as excessive concrete structures, the disappearance of water bodies, encroachments on the stormwater drains and the discharge of untreated sewage and waste.

The last drainage master plan for Delhi was created in 1976 when the city's population was approximately six million. The draft action plan for climate change acknowledges a concerning lack of formal records and practices among various agencies responsible for stormwater drainage management in Delhi.

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