Health minister Eknath Shinde is the chairman of the body.
Mumbai: In the wake of devastating floods in Maharashtra, a state-level regulatory body and task force has been set up to study the impact of climate change on human health. Health minister Eknath Shinde is the chairman of the body and principal secretary of the health department, Dr Pradip Vyas, its vice-chairman. The task force will work on identifying and surveying diseases caused by climate change and accordingly be determining the areas and population at risk.
The state-level regulatory body will meet once a year while the task force will meet three times a year. A task force has also been constituted at the district level, under the chairmanship of the collector. Its major focus will be to create a flood management plan. “A nodal officer will be appointed to study climate change at the district level. A district environmental health cell will also be established. It will have a structure similar to the state level,” said Dr Vyas.
The body will also have representatives of the district disaster management cell, district agriculture office, food and drug administration department, water supply and sanitation department, and pollution control board. “The state has been receiving unprecedented rainfall, with excessive record-breaking rain in some areas. At the same time, some parts of Maharashtra like Vidarbha and Marathwada have received deficient rainfall. As such, we need to study how these changes in pattern will affect us,” said an official.