Discuss the major ecological problems in India and examine the efficacy of the measures taken for their solution| ecological problems in India UPSC

 Question.

Discuss the major ecological problems in India and examine the efficacy of the measures taken for their solution. ( 64th BPSC, 2019)

Answer.

Due to the high population growth, unchecked exploitation of natural resources, and unsustainable development practices, India is facing the following major ecological problems:

Smog on Northern Plain around the Delhi-NCR region and Poor Air quality:

  • During the winter season, dust particles from the desert region of Pakistan and the middle east and smoke from biomass burning in the northern plains mix in the region leading to the formation of thick smog.
  • As per WHO( World health organization), the 14 most polluted cities in the world are India. 
  • As per the Lancet report, one out of eight death in India is related to poor air quality.
  • The government has formed the national Clean Air program for long terms sustainability to find out the solution to air quality. But much needed to do, we need micro-level( individual) planning and implementation to make things sustainable.

Water pollution, water scarcity, and lowering of groundwater across India:

  • Due to global warming, glaciers in the Himalayas are melting and it may reduce the water in Himalayan rivers.
  • Due to unchecked exploitation of groundwater, the groundwater table has been called at an alarming level in some regions.
  • Due to water pollution, most of the surface and groundwater is unfit to use.
  • Presently, the Jal Shakti ministry has been formed to look after the water-related problems in India.
  • NGT is working to ensure the availability of quality water.

Improper waste Disposal:

  • The average production of waste per capita in India is very low as compared to developed countries, but you keep the waste lying in the open everywhere, as a result, it flows with water and spreads soil pollution. When we burn the waste, it spreads air pollution.
  • We do not have a proper mechanism to monitor waste treatment and e-waste generation and disposal, the proper mechanism is needed.
    Soil degradation:
      Soil degradation means loss of soil quality and loss of productivity. Due to not using the soil properly, its quality is decreasing and the ecological system is getting damaged.

      Deforestation:

      • As per Forest law in India, there should be a minimum of 33 % of forest cover in India for ecological sustainability.  At present, we have only 22 % of forest cover in India.

      The following are key solutions to ecological problems:

      • curb population growth
      • Choose a sustainable development strategy
      • use renewable sources of energy
      • increase machine efficiency
      • Minimize production of waste material.
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