Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Weird weather phenomenon merits serious attention

Last week I was in Jaipur and attended the launch of the printing of Hindustan Times Rajasthan edition from the Pink City of India. This was one big step for the national daily since local printing means reaching out to the readers in the wee hours or the early morning when the interest to read a newspaper is at its peak.
Though Hindustan Times (HT) has an establishment and a distribution network in Rajasthan but printing the paper locally would make a lot of difference.
The history of HT in Rajasthan goes a long way as the Birlas, the proprietors, have an emotional attachment to the state.
The launch function turned out to be a very nice and elegant evening in which about 100 selected guests were there on invitation. The who's who and the high and the mighty from different segments of the society were all there in full strength. It was a good opportunity for me to be there and get to meet the 100 most important people of the state in one evening.
With Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who arrived ahead of the schedule to everyone's surprise, straight away mingled with the guests at the dinner table. Mr Venky Venkatesh, the Printer and Publisher of HT said, “The city of Jaipur is coming up fast and that the metro culture would dominate it in the future.”
He said, “We would like to target the youth and highlight the new trends of the city. HT Delhi occupies a premier position and HT Mumbai is at number two which reflects the quality and content of our paper.”
It was a rainy evening and had been so for the past seven days in Jaipur and other parts of the State. In Rajasthan, rain is always a reason for celebration. But not this time as seven districts are reeling under floods with loss of human lives. The state, basically, does not have the infrastructure, design or planning to gear up for the rains. The road where the party took place was flooded.
It struck me that we are still not taking the issue of `climate change' – a matter of global concern – seriously. Two week back when I was in New York, I experienced the hottest days after so many decades. In fact, July 2012 was the hottest summer ever in the history of United States.
In stark contrast, we are having one of the highest rainfall in Rajasthan in decades. Both these weather anomalies in two different parts of the world allude to one thing – that the global climate pattern is going haywire.
In my view we are always trying to grapple with issues pertaining to poverty, education, human rights and unemployment. Now the time has come to also contemplate and come up with solutions to meet the global problems of rapid climate changes and global warming.
I am flying to the United States tomorrow and one of the items on the agenda is to meet and bring one of the regional centre to India which would towards tackling the problems of climate change.
ess bee

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