Q.16:- Highlight any two serious adverse environmental consequences of development in India. India’s environmental problems pose a dichotomy-they are poverty induced and, at the same time, due to affluence in living standards. Is this true?
Two serious adverse environmental consequences of development in India are as follows
(i) Land Degradation Land in India has suffered degradation- stemming mainly from unstable use and inappropriate management practices during the development, process. The factors responsible for land degradation are
(a) Loss of vegetation occuring due to deforestation.
(b) Unsustainable fuel, wood and Fodder exaction.
(c) Extraction of ground water in excess of the recharge capacity.
(d) Non-adoption of adequate soil conservation measures.
(e) Improper crop rotation.
(f) Indiscriminate use of chemicals such as fertilizers and ‘Pesticides.
(ii) Air and Water Pollution In India, air pollution is widespread in urban areas where vehicles are the major contributors and in a few other areas which have a high concentration of industries and thermal power plants. In 2003, personal, transport vehicles (two-wheeled vehicles and cars only) constituted about 80% of the total number of registered vehicles. Thus contributing significantly to total air pollution load. Water bodies (e.g., lakes, rivers, oceans aquifers and groundwater) are contaminated when pollutants are discharged from industries directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds. Water contamination affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water. The effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities. This is true that India’s environmental problems pose a dichotomy-they are poverty induced and, at the same time due to affluence in living standards one hand, population explosion and widespread poverty has led to deforestation in India as the poor people in the rural areas are compelled to fell trees for earning their livelihood and for use as fuel, on the other hand, the growing demand for natural resources due to affluence in living standards in the urban areas is also equally responsible for the present environmental degradation. There have been rise in pollution due to-rapidly growing industrial sector and the expansion of vehicular traffic as a result of high conspicuous consumption.