Government’s own study has found that none of the national flagship programmes have an articulated position on Climate Change Adaption (CCA) or clear indicators to measure the extent of mainstreaming of these issues, and all Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) programmes address vulnerabilities in their own different ways. In the absence of capacity, awareness among stakeholders and compliance with measures related to the climate crisis, the flagship programmes like Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, Swachh Bharat Mission, Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission may not give the desired results and our commitment on climate change may not be met.
It’s also true that the commitment towards CCA seen at the national level or Central level is missing at the state level or local level. Since the CSS programmes are implemented by state governments or district administrations or specific agencies, there is less scope to intervene in efforts to mainstream CCA at the national level. It’s also true that many states and districts lack the capacity to prepare a well-articulated proposal and thus need support for completing their detailed project report guidelines. Since there are many such schemes, the Central government need to find a way out of this and ensure that commitment towards CCA exists at the grassroot level also.
When a project or programme/scheme is being conceptualised and planned, the impact of such schemes on CCA should be clearly articulated and addressed which is not done till now. Therefore, the focus of efforts has to be on generating awareness and capabilities in the agencies operating on the field. In the absence of a well- articulated strategy either to ensure effective participation or training in aspects of CCA, the benefits of a community-level component will not be fully realised.
Because of improper and ineffective method of implementation of various schemes there is a perception among the people that there is a lack of political will to implement provisions that are politically sensitive. For example, take the case of implementation of building codes – even after they are adopted, the implementation of these provisions is diluted by a lack of will and weak technical or bureaucratic capabilities to implement such provisions. In case of Smart Cities Mission, some risk mitigation measures like redeveloping the sewage system for a city and effective stormwater drainage needs are not given due importance. This is despite the fact that many cities face the problem of flooding year after years and many lives are lost and properties worth crores being destroyed every year.
Therefore, various stakeholders need to have a good understanding of the impact of natural disasters and climate change for mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and CCA concerns. Currently, the understanding of these issues is limited to some sections of the management whereas the need of the hour is to promote this understanding across the board through orientation training and capacity building programmes.
There is a need to develop a mechanism that provides space for stakeholder participation during the stages of design, appraisal, implementation and review. Such a mechanism should able to bring together the knowledge and skill sets, concerns and ideas of relevant stakeholders.
In the absence of a well- articulated strategy either to ensure effective participation or training in aspects of disaster risk mitigation, especially in case of programmes that have a strong community-level component, the benefits of a community-level component cannot be fully realised.
However, the single biggest continuing challenge is of a lack of sensitivity towards DRR and CCA across all levels. We need to find effective ways of communicating the urgency of DRR and CCA issues to all stakeholders in a way that they do not seem remote from their lives at all.