Environmental problems of India and their possible trends in future

Parikh, J.K. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0558-8427 (1977). Environmental problems of India and their possible trends in future. Environmental Conservation 4 (03) p. 189. 10.1017/S0376892900025777.

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The environmental problems which may arise in India, due to population growth, increased industrial and agricultural activities, and depletion of natural resources in the next 25 years, are discussed here. Selected aspects of problems which require special attention are treated with particular emphasis on rural situations. The present status of the various aspects of human settlement—such as quality of air, water, sanitation, health, and housing—as well as aspects of conservation of forests, soils, and wildlife, is outlined as far as possible in a quantitative manner. It is visualized that environmental management will have to be more serious and of growing dimensions in the coming years.

It emerges from the study that two of the most serious problems which India may face in 25 years' time are water pollution and deforestation. By a.d. 2000, population in India is projected to reach around 950 millions, 65% of whom would be living in rural areas. The environment's capacity to absorb the concomitant wastes and pollution would be significantly reduced through the consequent growth of human activities. At present, in the rural areas, the percentage of population with piped water-supply and exclusive sanitation facilities is less than 10%. Unless drastic measures are taken, this percentage may not exceed 30% by A.D. 2000. Without appropriate sewerage and sanitation facilities, the accumulated wastes could mix with open-water resources, so leading to high levels of water pollution. The effects of mixing agricultural runoff containing wastes, pesticides, and fertilizers, in the rural water-sources, would also need consideration.

The current practice in the rural areas of obtaining more than 90% of domestic fuels from non-commercial sources—firewood, animal dung, and agricultural wastes—even if considerably reduced, may continue and lead to deforestation and hence to soil erosion, floods, climatic changes, and loss of precious varieties of flora and fauna. Such burning leads to air pollution as well.

Apart from the problems of water pollution and deforestation, the problems of the urban areas include increasing slums, inadequate transportation facilities, and industrial pollution—all of which would have to be dealt with. Finally, the present status of environmental legislation is reviewed, and certain policies and intense efforts for generating environmental awareness are recommended.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Food and Agriculture (FAG)
Depositing User: Romeo Molina
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2016 09:31
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:26
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/12680

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