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Environmental Pollution in India

The environmental problems in India are growing rapidly. The increasing economic development and a rapidly growing population that has taken the country from 300 million people in 1947 to over one billion people today is putting a strain on the environment, infrastructure, and the country’s natural resources. Industrial pollution, soil erosion, deforestation, rapid industrialization, urbanization, and land degradation are all worsening problems. Overexploitation of the country’s resources is it land or water and the industrialization process has resulted in considerable environmental degradation of resources.

Air Pollution

There are four reasons of air pollution: Emissions from vehicles, thermal power plants, industries, and refineries. The problem of indoor air pollution in rural areas and urban slums has assumed significant attention lately.

India’s environmental problems are exacerbated by its heavy reliance on coal for power generation. Coal supplies more than half of the country’s energy needs and is used for nearly three-quarters of electricity generation. While India is fortunate to have abundant reserves of coal to power economic development, the burning of this resource, especially given the high ash content of India’s coal, has come at a cost in terms of heightened public risk and environmental degradation. Reliance on coal as the major energy source has led to a nine-fold jump in carbon emissions over the past forty years. The government estimates the cost of environmental degradation has been running at 4.5% of GDP in recent years.

River Water Pollution

Fully 80 percent of urban waste in India ends up in the country’s rivers, and unchecked urban growth across the country combined with poor government oversight means the problem is only getting worse. A growing number of bodies of water in India are unfit for human use, and in the River Ganga, holy to the country’s 82 percent Hindu majority, is dying slowly due to unchecked pollution.

New Delhi’s body of water is little more than a flowing garbage dump, with fully 57 percent of the city’s waste finding its way to the Yamuna. It is that three billion liters of waste are pumped into Delhi’s Yamuna (River Yamuna) each day. Only 55 percent of the 15 million Delhi residents are connected to the city’s sewage system. The remainder flushes their bath water, waste water and just about everything else down pipes and into drains, most of them empty into the Yamuna. According to the Centre for Science and Environment, between 75 and 80 percent of the river’s pollution is the result of raw sewage. Combined with industrial runoff, the garbage thrown into the river and it totals over 3 billion liters of waste per day. Nearly 20 billion rupees, or almost US $500 million, has been spent on various clean up efforts.

The frothy brew is so glaring that it can be viewed on Google Earth.

Much of the river pollution problem in India comes from untreated sewage. Samples taken recently from the Ganges River near Varanasi show that levels of fecal coliform, a dangerous bacterium that comes from untreated sewage, were some 3,000 percent higher than what is considered safe for bathing.

Groundwater Exploitation

Groundwater exploitation is a serious matter of concern today and legislations and policy measures taken till date, by the state governments (water is a state subject) have not had the desired effect on the situation.

Reduce Pollutions:  Suggestions

Reduce tax on incomes and institute a tax on pollution was a suggestion environmental crusader Al Gore had for India to tackle the issue of global warming effectively. “Reduce tax on employees and employers and put a tax on pollution.

The more carbon dioxide one emits the more he pays in taxes,” said Gore in an interactive session at the India Today Conclave here on March 16, 2008. Replying to a question by Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma, Gore also suggested subsidising clean energy generation instead of carbon fuels like kerosene.

AGRA, December 12, 2008: Now Tulsi an ayurveda wisdom to help Taj Majal retain its pristine allure. The forest department has come up with a quick-fix project — plant a Tulsi drive in Agra. The recommended complexion care regimen, officers claim, has full backing from ancient texts which hold Tulsi to be the panacea for all problems from cosmic to cosmetic. The department is all set to launch the Tulsi plantation drive from January 2009. The public-private joint venture is expected to provide an eco-protection cover to sensitive Taj trapezium zone surrounding the 17th century monument as well as the other two world heritage monuments — Agra Fort and Aitma-ud-Daula tomb. Tulsi (Occinum sanctum) chosen for its anti-pollutant anti-oxidation and air-purifying properties making it an ideal ornamental shrub in the vicinity of the Taj Mahal.

By the initiatives of the Delhi Metro and the Delhi Bicycling Club, which encourage people to use bicycles for short distances, pedaling a cycle is increasingly and becoming routine for people. On bicycle, one can change destination without hassles and it’s cheap.Taking to pedal, Delhiites choose an eco-friendly saddle.

R.YUVARANI
M.PHIL SCHOLAR
PERIYAR UNIVERSITY
SALEM-11

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