May 7

Kolkata, Maldives could go under sea in 100 years: expert

Imran Khan (Indo-Asian News Service)
The Hidustan Times, [May 7, 2003]

Patna, May 6: Kolkata could go under water in the next 100 years, warns an environmental scientist. V Subramanian says the eastern Indian metropolis could be submerged in the Bay of Bengal if the sea continues to rise due to global warming.

Subramanian, who teaches at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, told IANS here: "Kolkata's face may change if the sea level continues to rise at the present alarming rate."

He said the sea level was rising by one centimetre every year, at which rate the Bay of Bengal would engulf some parts of West Bengal, including Kolkata, in about 100 years.

He said the reason for the rising sea level was an increasing pace of global warming caused by depletion of the ozone layer. He claimed 30 per cent of glaciers had already melted, causing an increase in the sea level.

The scientist, here to deliver a lecture, shocked students, teachers and researchers by saying that the whole of Bangladesh was facing submergence in the sea.

Similarly, Maldives, a republic comprising about 2,000 islands in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka, would not last more than a hundred years, he said.

According to him, the main cause of global warning was thermal power plants, which emit gases like carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and methane, and deplete the ozone layer.

The depletion of the ozone layer causes ultraviolet rays to penetrate the atmosphere, leading to a melting of glaciers.

He said while global warming and climatic changes were not a new phenomenon, their pace now was faster than ever.