Q. 53.8( 4 Votes )

How do the following factors contribute to the environmental crisis in India? What problem do they pose for the government?

Answer :

(i) Rising population – the rising population is depleting the resources of the environment faster than it is regenerating itself. The environment’s capacity to assimilate waste has reduced. Also, non-renewable resources are depleting rapidly because of which India has to import these resources from other countries. The government faces the problem of housing, employment, stress on resources of the environment, etc. due to the population explosion in India. They need to provide birth control literacy and incentives to people to curb this problem. For example: China, who faces similar problem, restricts its people from giving birth to more than 2 (two) offsprings otherwise certain penalties or taxes is paid by the person who violates this rule.

(ii) Air pollution – due to rising population, more trees are being cut down to establish residential areas along with increase in the number of vehicles which emits harmful gases in the environment. It affects the air quality adversely and due to lack of replenishment of fresh air by trees, the level of pollution in air is causing various diseases amongst people. The government needs to ban industries emitting harmful gases in residential areas and also, regular checking and approvals of pollution from vehicles and factories must be made mandatory. The government also faces the problem of finding an alternate source of energy or resource to run the vehicles. For example: the Delhi Government brought about the “Odd-Even” solution to prevent or reduce the alarming increase of air pollution in the city.


(iii) Water contamination – industrial wastes are dumped into water which is consumed by humans and animals alike. These also spread epidemics like dengue or malaria. The government realises its negative effect on health and sanitation and they pose the problem of restricting the industries to throw untreated wastes in the water which is hazardous in nature. They also need to allocate and spend huge amount in the budget to clean and purify these water resources. For example: the clean Ganga initiative taken by the Modi Government requires huge spending from the Budget.


(iv) Affluent consumption standards – in order to improve their standard of living, the middle class, upper middle class and rich people of the society are increasing their consumption standards of luxury items which is stressing on the sources of the environment and generating more waste than it can absorb. The government should identify the problem of this waste generation in such huge quantities and increase taxes on such luxury items as they have to spend huge amounts in cleaning and maintaining the environment quality.


(v) Illiteracy – due to lack of awareness and knowledge of the limited resources of the environment, people tend to over use its resources and generate more waste than required. Lack of education is also a factor for increase in population. The government needs to spend on educating its people to prevent the environment from unnecessary damage.


(vi) Industrialisation – it has caused setting up of industries by many entrepreneurs across the country that dumps huge amount of harmful wastes and gases in water and in air, respectively. They also use extensively the environment’s resources as raw materials. The government needs to set up rules and licenses of permitted wastes which should be monitored regularly.


(vii) Urbanisation – with the rise in population and lack of employment opportunities in rural areas, people migrate to urban areas. Massive areas of land are made available by cutting down trees and meet the growing demand of housing. This migration from rural to urban India also leads to establishment of slums which has unacceptable sanitation conditions. Government needs to focus on rural development and create more employment opportunities to prevent such migration and also conduct activities to treat wastes generated by such huge population the urban areas.


(viii) Reduction of forest coverage – to create more land for housing and agriculture purpose for the growing population, forests are cut down. This in turn affects the ecological balance of the environment adversely. Government should take up activities of afforestation to restore the ecological balance.


(ix) Poaching – hunting and killing of animals illegally is called poaching. Parts of certain animals are sold at exorbitant rates in black market because of which these animals are hunted. For example – elephant musk, tiger skin, etc. are widely sold products. This has lead to extinction of few species from the planet. The government should strictly punish such criminal acts and prevent such illegal activities from taking place. The Royal Bengal Tiger was on the verge of extinction when “Save the Tiger” initiative was taken up to prevent that from happening.


(x) Global warming - Global warming is the constant and gradual increase in the Earth’s temperature which has a direct negative impact on the environment. The emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, etc are causing this rise in temperature which is melting the ice caps in the polar region and increasing the sea level over time. This may cause natural calamities and damage human lives. It is one the major problems faced by the country to which the Government must find measures to prevent the disasters.


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