With a population of 1.2 billion, India is the second most populous country in the
world. Improving economic conditions is a primary reason for such a large population
and the standard of living within India has increased as well in recent decades. For
example, the average life expectancy increased from 42.4 to 63.7 years between
1960 and 2008.
Many Indians have been settling in the country’s ever-expanding cities as the most
economic opportunities can be found there.
In addition to its growing urban environs, India also has a wide range of natural
ecosystems. The world’s tallest mountain range, the Himalayas, stretches across
India’s northern border. The country’s driest ecosystem, The Great Indian Desert, is in
the western part of the country, while eastern India sees some of the highest annual
rainfall totals in the world during the monsoon season from June to October.
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Some of The Most
POLLUTION IS AN
INCURABLE DISEASE. IT
CAN ONLY BE PREVENTED.
A population of over thousands of millions is growing at 2.11 per cent every year. It
puts considerable pressure on its natural resources and reduces the gains of
development. Hence, the greatest challenge before us is to limit the population
growth. Although population control does automatically lead to development, yet
the development leads to a decrease in population growth rates.
2. Poverty India has often been described a rich land with poor people. The poverty and
environmental degradation have a nexus between them. The vast majority of our
people are directly dependent on the nature resources of the country for their basic
needs of food, fuel shelter and fodder. About 40% of our people are still below the
Environment degradation has adversely affected the poor who depend upon the
resources of their immediate surroundings. Thus, the challenge of poverty and the
challenge environment degradation are two facts of the same challenge. The
population growth is essentially a function of poverty. Because, to the very poor,
every child is an earner and helper and global concerns have little relevance for him.
The people must be acquainted with the methods to sustain and increase
agricultural growth with damaging the environment. High yielding varieties have
caused soil salinity and damage to physical structure of soil.
4. Need For
It is essential of rationalizing the use of groundwater. Factors like community
wastes, industrial effluents and chemical fertilizers and pesticides have polluted our
surface water and affected quality of the groundwater.
It is essential to restore the water quality of our rivers and other water body as lakes
is an important challenge. It so finding our suitable strategies for consecration of
water, provision of safe drinking water and keeping water bodies clean which are
difficult challenges is essential.
Forests serve catchments for the rivers. With increasing demand of water, plan to
harness the mighty river through large irrigation projects were made. Certainly,
these would submerge forests; displace local people, damage flora and fauna.
As such, the dams on the river Narmada, Bhagirathi and elsewhere have become
areas of political and scientific debate. Forests in India have been shrinking for
several centuries owing to pressures of agriculture and other uses. Vast areas that
were once green, stand today as wastelands.
These areas are to be brought back under vegetative cover. The tribal communities
inhabiting forests respects the trees and birds and animal that gives them
sustenance. We must recognize the role of these people in restoring and
At present out of the total 329 mha of land, only 266 mha possess any potential
for production. Of this, 143 mha is agricultural land nearly and 85 suffer from
varying degrees of soil degradation. Of the remaining 123 mha, 40 are completely
The remaining 83 mha is classified as forest land, of which over half is denuded to
various degrees. Nearly 406 million head of livestock have to be supported on 13
mha, or less than 4 per cent of the land classified as pasture land, most of which is
overgrazed. Thus, of 226 mha, about 175 mha or 66 per cent is degraded to varying
degrees. Water and wind erosion causes further degradation of almost 150 mha.
The people should be roused to orient institutions, attitudes and infrastructures, to
suit conditions and needs today. The change has to be brought in keeping in view
India’s traditions for resources use managements and education etc. Change
should be brought in education, in attitudes, in administrative procedures and in
institutions. Because it affects way people view technology resources and
At present most wild genetic stocks have been disappearing from nature. Wilding
including the Asiatic Lion are facing problem of loss of genetic diversity. The
protected areas network like sanctuaries, national parks, biosphere reserves are
isolating populations. So, they are decreasing changes of one group breeding with
another. Remedial steps are to be taken to check decreasing genetic diversity.
Nearly 27 per cent Indians live in urban areas. Urbanization and industrialization
has given birth to a great number of environmental problems that need urgent
attention. Over 30 per cent of urban Indians live in slums. Out of India’s 3,245
towns and cities, only 21 have partial or full sewerage and treatment facilities.
Hence, coping with rapid urbanization is a major challenge.
10. Air & Water
Majority of our industrial plants are using out-dated and population technologies
and makeshift facilities devoid of any provision of treating their wastes. A great
number of cities and industrial areas that have been identified as the worst in terms
of air and water pollution.
Acts are enforced in the country, but their implement is not so easy. The reason is
their implementation needs great resources, technical expertise, political and social
will. Again the people are to be made aware of these rules. Their support is
indispensable to implement these rules.
LET’S GET SERIOUS
More On Environmental Issues In India
Issues In India
While India has gone through a rapid period of economic growth in recent years,
critics say that growth has come at a severe cost to the country’s environment in
the form of deforestation, pollution and threats to endangered species.
A high standard of living in India has increased the demand for lumber and this has
led to significant deforestation within the country. According to the World Wildlife
Fund, overall industrial round wood usage in India could surpass 70 million square
meters annually by 2020. Domestic supply would fall short of this number by
approximately 14 million square meters.
Tree stumps are
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Issues In India
As the nation must count heavily on imports to meet this growing need, there is
anxiety that this could cause loss of forests with high conservation values and
significantly lower biodiversity. The problem is only made worse by the fact that
some of the world’s most iconic and endangered species live in India.
India is also known for having some of the world’s worst pollution. A 2013 report
from India’s Central Pollution Control Board found that more than 2,700 million
litres per day of domestic sewage is discharged by cities located along the Ganges
“Cities have grown without planning and investment, so most do not have
underground drainage networks,” the report said. “Waste is generated but not
conveyed to treatment plants. There is no power to run treatment plants; bankrupt
municipalities and water utilities have no money to pay for operations.”
Policies In India
India’s current environmental policy is dominated by the country’s landmark
National Environment Policy 2006. The policy starts by acknowledging
environmental degradation in India is being driven by population growth, poor
resource usage choices, and poverty. The guidelines then go on to state that
environmental protections need to be integrated into development processes.
The policy also stated that a lack of full scientific certainty is not a valid reason for
postponing measures to stop degradation. Finally, the policy said any polluter
should generally bear the cost of pollution. The 2006 policy also outlined plans for
protecting environmentally sensitive zones, water conservation measures, wildlife
protection and protection of wetlands.
Despite its reputation for environmental problems, India is starting to invest in
clean technology on a massive scale.
India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy reported in 2015 the country has an
operational solar power capacity of over 4 GW. India’s solar energy capacity has
largely been fuelled by the country’s National Solar Mission and the endeavour put
India on pace to be one of the top 10 solar markets in the world by the end of
Many investors and venture capitalists are now seeing India as the ‘next big thing’
for clean technology investments. In 2015, Bloomberg predicted clean energy
investments in India would surpass $10 billion for the first time since 2011.
Observers credited energy reforms from the government elected in May 2014 as
the reason for the boom in clean energy investment.
on top of a
According to a 2014 report from the World Bank, ecosystem degradation in India
currently costs the country $80 billion annually, or 5.7 percent of GDP. If the
country wants to break the cycle of environmental loss and resource depletion, it
must further embrace clean technology and sustainable policies, the World Bank
The good news, the report said, is sustainable policies and technology is affordable,
with policy interventions potentially yielding benefits with minimal costs for India.
A low-emission, resource-efficient strategy would be particularly helpful. For
example, reducing particulate emission by 30 percent would cost $97 billion and
reduce growth by 0.03 percent, yet save $105 billion in healthcare costs.
An "environment" is the whole of surrounding things. Surroundings are defined by
a central entity. In ecology, environment refers to the surroundings of humankind.
Generally, environment refers to the biological, physical and social things on the
earth or in inhabitable space outside the earth's atmosphere.
Some of the problems affecting us: -
1. Acid Rain
2. Air Pollution
3. Water Pollution
4. Global Warming
6. Over Population
Acid Rain The term acid rain refers to what scientists call acid deposition. It is caused by
airborne acidic pollutants and has highly destructive results.
Acid rain, one of the most important environmental problems of all, cannot be
seen. The invisible gases that cause acid rain usually come from automobiles or
coal-burning power plants.
Automobiles produce about half of the world's nitrogen oxide. As the number of
automobiles in use increases, so does the amount of acid rain. Power plants that
burn fossil fuels also contribute significantly to nitrogen oxide emission.
Acid rain comes down to the earth in the form of rain, snow, hail, fog, frost, or
dew. Once it reaches the ground, the acidity in the substance can harm and even
destroy both natural ecosystems and man-made products, such as car finishes.
Acid Rain -
Many ecosystems are affected by acid rain. Bodies of water, such as lakes and
rivers, see many of their inhabitants die off due to rising acidity levels. Aside from
aquatic bodies, acid deposition can significantly impact forests. As acid rain falls on
trees, it can make them lose their leaves, damage their bark, and stunt their growth.
By damaging these parts of the tree, it makes them vulnerable to disease, extreme
weather, and insects.
Finally, acid deposition also has an impact on architecture and art because of its
ability to corrode certain materials. As acid lands on buildings (especially those
constructed with limestone) it reacts with minerals in the stones sometimes
causing it to disintegrate and wash away. Acid deposition can also corrode modern
buildings, cars, railroad tracks, airplanes, steel bridges, and pipes
above and below ground.
Acid Rain -
There are many ways that power plant companies can reduce acid rain
creation. They can use coal with a low sulphur content, they can remove the
sulphur from smoke their plants release, and they can limit processes known to
generate high levels of acid rain.
Environmentalists advocate the installation of sulphur cleaning scrubbers in
factories, washing sulphur out of coal, and finding new methods of burning
coal. Power plant operators are looking for less expensive solutions to the
Air Pollution Every day, the average person inhales about 20,000 litres of air. Every time we
breathe, we risk inhaling dangerous chemicals that have found their way into the
air. Air pollution includes all contaminants found in the atmosphere. These
dangerous substances can be either in the form of gases or particles.
Air pollution can be found both outdoors and indoors. Pollutants can be trapped
inside buildings, causing indoor pollution that lasts for a long time. The sources of
air pollution are both natural and human-based. As one might expect, humans
Industrialization, Globalization, Population Growth are now the main drivers of
pollution as we know it.
Air Pollution -
Of course, atmospheric pollution would not be such a big problem if it weren’t for
its harmful effects on humans, animals, trees and the wider environment.
We can distinguish between short-term acute effects and long-term chronic
effects of air pollution.
Air pollutants enter the body primarily through the respiratory system which thus
becomes their main victim. Each air pollutant exerts their own specific adverse
impacts, ranging from mild to really damaging.
Air Pollution -
There are two main types of pollution control: -
Input control involves preventing a problem before it occurs, or at least limiting the
effects the process will produce.
Five major input control methods exist. People may try to restrict population
growth use less energy, improve energy efficiency, reduce waste, and move to
non-polluting renewable forms of energy production. Also, automobile-produced
pollution can be decreased with highly beneficial results.
Air Pollution -
Output control, the opposite method, seeks to fix the problems caused by air
pollution. This usually means cleaning up an area that has been damaged by
Input controls are usually more effective than output controls. Output controls are
also more expensive, making them less desirable to tax payers and polluting
Current air pollution control efforts are not all highly effective. In wealthier
countries, industries are often able to shift to methods that decrease air pollution.
Water pollution can be defined in many ways. Usually, it means one or more
substances have built up in water to such an extent that they cause problems for
animals or people. Oceans, lakes, rivers, and other inland waters can naturally clean
up a certain amount of pollution by dispersing it harmlessly.
Thus, water pollution is all about quantities: how much of a polluting substance is
released and how big a volume of water it is released into.
Water pollution almost always means that some damage has been done to an
ocean, river, lake, or other water source.
Sewage is good example of how pollution can affect us all. Sewage discharged into
coastal waters can wash up on beaches and cause a health hazard. People who
bathe or surf in the water can fall ill if they swallow polluted water—yet sewage can
have other harmful effects too: it can poison fishes that grow near the shore.
Pollution matters because it harms the environment on which people depend. The
environment is not something distant and separate from our lives. Destroying the
environment ultimately reduces the quality of our own lives—and that, most
selfishly, is why pollution should matter to all of us.
Broadly speaking, there are three different things that can help to tackle the
problem—education, laws, and economics—and they work together as a team.
Making people aware of the problem is the first step to solving it.
One of the biggest problems with water pollution is its transboundary nature. Many
rivers cross countries, while seas span whole continents. Pollution discharged by
factories in one country with poor environmental standards can cause problems in
neighbouring nations, even when they have tougher laws and higher standards.
Environmental laws can make it tougher for people to pollute, but to be really
effective they have to operate across national and international borders.
Most environmental experts agree that the best way to tackle pollution is through
something called the polluter pays principle. This means that whoever causes
pollution should have to pay to clean it up, one way or another. Polluter pays can
operate in all kinds of ways. It could mean that tanker owners should have to take
out insurance that covers the cost of oil spill clean-ups, for example. It could also
mean that shoppers should have to pay for their plastic grocery bags, to encourage
recycling and minimize waste. Or it could mean that factories that use rivers must
have their water inlet pipes downstream of their effluent outflow pipes, so if they
cause pollution they themselves are the first people to suffer.
Global warming is called the greenhouse effect because the gases that are
gathering above the earth make the planet comparable to a greenhouse. By
trapping heat near the surface of the earth, the greenhouse effect is warming the
planet and threatening the environment. One of the largest factors contributing to
global warming is the general problem of overpopulation and its many effects.
Many different gases can increase the planet's temperature. The number of
different products and human activities that contribute to global warming are so
numerous that finding solutions to the problem is very difficult.
Using a refrigerator releases dangerous gases, turning on the lights requires energy
from a power plant, and driving to work causes gas emissions from the
car. Countless other normal activities lead to global warming.
The climate changes that will result from global warming are extremely difficult to
predict. The weather is determined by so many factors that it is often compared to
chaos by scientists. Changing the temperature will likely have some effect on the
planet's weather, but just what that effect will be is nearly impossible to predict.
If temperatures do indeed rise significantly, the most important result would be
that some portion of the polar icecaps would melt, raising global sea levels.
The problems that cause global warming include overpopulation, deforestation
ozone depletion, garbage dumping, and many others. These all have unique
solutions which are now being promoted by environmentalists.
Some policies could successfully reduce global warming. Raising fossil fuels, taxing
emissions, and encouraging people to take environmentally friendly action through
such activities as planting trees will all help.
Because many problems leading to global warming are caused or contributed to by
overpopulation, people are beginning to work to reduce family sizes. Family
planning services actually help in the fight against global warming.
Education is a key method of reducing the greenhouse effect. By teaching people
about such things as deforestation, environmental activists hope to prevent the
problems that ultimately lead to global warming.
Widespread media attention to the global warming problem is also increasing
awareness. This is causing both individuals and governments to act more
responsibly towards the environment.
The rise in sea levels would be disastrous for some places. Islands would disappear,
meaning their millions of inhabitants would have to relocate. Flooding would occur
along coastlines all over the world, displacing more people and ruining cropland.
In the case of major global warming and melted ice caps, some countries might
simply cease to exist.
Deforestation Rain forests are being quickly destroyed, and their survival is questionable. Unlike
some environmental issues, rain forest depletion has fortunately received
significant public and media attention.
Despite the opposition to the cutting down of rain forests, the problem
continues. Every year, Brazil chops down an area of forest the size of the state of
In addition to the Amazon's rain forests, many other forests are being cut down as
well. Guinea, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, and
Venezuela, rain forests that were once great have been lost.
Deforestation According to some estimates, 50 million acres of rain forest are cut down every
year. The United Nations says the figure is closer to 17 million acres. The World
Wildlife Fund says that every minute, 25 to 50 acres are cut or burned to the
The world's growing population has been a primary cause of rain forest
destruction. More people need land to live on and wood products to
consume. Limiting population growth may be the first in a series of steps that
would limit the destruction of the rain forests.
Commercial logging companies cut down mature trees that have been selected for
their timber. The timber trade defends itself by saying that this method of
'selective' logging ensures that the forest regrows naturally and in time, is once
again ready for their 'safe' logging practices. In most cases, this is untrue due to the
nature of rainforests and of logging practices.
Solutions: For all purposes for which tropical timber is used, other woods or
materials could be substituted.
We can stop using tropical timber and urge others to do the same. As long as there
is a market for tropical timbers, trees will continue to be cut down. Labelling
schemes, aimed at helping consumers to chose environmental friendly timbers,
are currently being discussed in many countries.
Submitted By: - Utkarsh Tomar
M.Arch 1st Year (Sustainable Architecture)
Submitted To: - Ar. Neha Yadav
(Fundamentals of Sustainable Architecture)
• India Facts - National Geographic
• India and Its Incredible Pollution Problem - The Japan Times
• Environmental Problems in India - World Wildlife Fund
• National Environmental Policy 2006 - General Knowledge Today
• India Achieves 4 Gigawatts Installed Solar Powered Capacity – Clean
• India: Green Growth - Overcoming Environment Challenges to Promote
Development - The World Bank
• India Clean Investment Hits $7.9 Billion, Expected to Pass $10 Billion