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Heat wave, extreme weather killed 350 people in Maharashtra in 2021, highest in India

By Our Representative 
Maharashtra suffered the most deaths due to extreme weather events in 2021, a state-wise analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has said in its recently released report "State of India’s Environment 2022: In Figures". 
Released to mark the World Environment Day, June 5, the report said, Of the over 1,700 people who lost their lives to extreme weather events (lightning and thunderstorms, cyclones, floods, heavy rains and landslides) in India in 2021, 350 were from Maharashtra. Odisha followed with 223 casualties; and in Madhya Pradesh, 191 lives were lost.
According to the report, the year had many more warning signs of the calamity that is confronting the nation, pointing out, "The past decade (2011-2020/2012-2021) was India's warmest decade on record. Eleven out of the 15 warmest years were in the last 15 years (2007-21)."
It underlined, "India recorded its fifth warmest year in 2021 when the average temperature remained 0.44°C above normal (1981-2010 average). The country was 0.71°C warmer than normal in 2016, India’s warmest ever year. In 2021, the country also had its third hottest March ever, and in 2022, March temperatures beat all previous records."
There has been an almost 30% reduction in India's expenditure on natural calamities in 2021-22, compared to 2020-21
Stating that just five states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana – accounted for 54 per cent of the heatwave days in the country, the report said, "There are 25 glacial lake and waterbodies across India, China and Nepal that have recorded more than 40 per cent increase in their water spread areas since 2009. They pose a grave threat to seven Indian states and Union territories and need to be monitored closely."
Despite these warning signs, the report regretted, "There has been an almost 30 per cent reduction in India's expenditure on natural calamities in 2021-22, compared to 2020-21. In six states and UTs, the cut-down has been over 50 per cent, while it has been over 70 per cent in another five."

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