German researchers show the way

Research Fellows from 'Humboldt- Universtat of Berlin (Germany), who are in the city on a research programme. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu  

The city has been under a yo-yo weather trend for some time. For instance, few years ago temperature would gradually soar after Sankranti. Today there is a cold wave enveloping the city. Hyderabadis are pulling out rugs and blankets from trunks kept in the attic. An unpredictable summer and monsoon are on the cards too. The changes in the weather pattern can be attributed to our lifestyle, shows a study led by German university students in the city.

The Sustainable Hyderabad Project is a part of the emerging megacities project funded by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Ten cities across the world, including Lima, Teheran, Ho Chi Minh City, Addis Ababa and Hyderabad were chosen for the study that began in 2005.

“The problems of transport, food security, energy, health and climate change in emerging megacities is the same. The study aims at addressing them. Most people might think that global warming is an issue pertaining to developed countries. But we need to understand that the climate change is responsible for events like the floods that took place few years ago in Hyderabad,” says Julian Sagebiel, research fellow, Humboldt University, who the team considers the ‘pukka' Hyderabadi among them.

Undeterred by the language barrier and with help of local translators, the research group, which comprises economists, social scientist, transport engineers and agri-scientists, has been working on the various facets of the project in the city, their home for the moment. The findings are shared with HMDA, Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies and other organisations in the city, to hopefully incorporate the same in the new master plan for the city.

“The focus is on climate change-related problems, such as reducing green house gases and its future impact. The idea is to build environmental awareness by educating people about the impact of lifestyle on climate change, to link their own behaviour to the phenomenon,” says Lutz Meyer-Ohlendorf, a student from Potsdam-Institut Fur Klimafolgenforschung.

From conducting awareness about carbon footprint or the anthropogenic green house gases (GHG) emission, to steps in the reduction of the same, the research students hope to come up with some eco-friendly solutions before they wrap up the Sustainable Hyderabad Project in 2013.

So far, the milestones have been many for the researchers, be it deriving a sustainable street food plan for city vendors or installing fuel-efficient capacitators in agri pump-sets for farmers in Warangal,.

A recent pilot project addressing the climate change mitigation by reducing green house gases has helped households dependant on firewood and kerosene in Banjara Colony and Nandanvanam in L.B.Nagar shift to cleaner LPG fuel. “The cost of kerosene and firewood was about the same for LPG. The initial cost of the stove and connection was the factor that was impeding the change towards a healthy and eco-friendly fuel option. Support from LPG dealers and city-based NGOs enabled the LPG study group get the connections,” Jens Rommel, a Ph.D student of Humboldt-Universitat, Berlin, about an initiative that can soon turn to be a model that can be implemented on a large scale in other areas of the city.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 3:45:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/German-researchers-show-the-way/article13376831.ece

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