To boost growth, build resilience

The monsoon brings not just welcome rain, but also floods, avoidable ones in towns and unmanaged ones wreaking havoc elsewhere. The loss of life, livelihoods and property presents an economic drain on the system and tightens the stranglehold of poverty. This year, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated and complicated the situation. This is a cost that a developing country such as India can ill afford. As we focus on reviving the economy, the focus must be on investing in building resilient infrastructure.

Building better must be the cornerstone of this effort. This will require planning and putting in place infrastructure that is resilient and adaptive to changes in the climate that have already taken place. It will also require taking measures that can minimise the adverse impact of these climatic changes.

For instance, the intensity of rainfall has increased due to climate change, making flooding a regular occurrence. What is required are efforts that will minimise the possibility of floods — the solutions will vary from afforestation efforts, reviving wetlands, building infrastructure that can withstand these changes, and so on. It is critical to ensure that local circumstances and science are taken on board while identifying solutions. Any effort to build resilient infrastructure must involve planners, scientists, experts and every level of government, besides popular involvement, must be part of this exercise. At the same time, it is critical to ensure the implementation of rules and regulations, as well as ensuring that the infrastructure, particularly in urban areas, is maintained properly.

As India works to revive its economy, building resilient infrastructure can be an important avenue for investment and growth, to break the annual cycle of loss of life and property.
Courtesy - The Economic Times.


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