Environmental degradation in India caused by population growth.

Introduction

The speedy industrial and economic development in our country is degrading the  society through the un-monitored growth of industry and urbanisation.One of the foremost causes of environmental degradation in India is the growing population and illiteracy. This poses a challenge  to sustained development causing environmental harm. Growing population and environment deterioration are deterrent to development the quality and quantity of natural resources shape a country’s economic growth and uncontrolled population is a big strain on all natural resources . The 3 elementary demographic factors of birth death and migration bring charges in population size which raise a variety of important queries of cause and result. With India’s population around 1.35 billion ,it is expected to cross China and become the most populous country by 2050. India has 18% of worlds population on 2.4% of its average leading to a good deal of pressure on all its natural resources. Water shortage, soil exhaustion ,deforestation, air and water pollution afflict several areas.If the global population keeps increasing ,the impact can be devastating.

As the twenty first century progresses, the rising level of consumption per capita per unit area is depleting the natural resources.The poverty-environmental damage nexus in India should be seen in India with the context of incremental increase.The unequal distribution of resources and restricted opportunities can stress and strain the folks living below poverty line.

The growing trends of population and resulting demand for food, energy and housing have significantly altered land-use practices and severely degraded India’s forests vis-à-vis environment conjointly.

Forest Resource

With just less than 2% of the world’s total forest space, the country supports 18% of it’s population.The total space under forest cover was 675.54K square km in 2001, which was 21% of the total geographic area, as against the National Forest Policy 1988 stipulated target of 33%.Even in this recorded space, only 416.81 K square km,  12.68% of country’s total acreage contains dense forest with a crown density of 40%,therefore reflective of qualitative decline of forests.

The total forest cover had increased by 35.43 K Sq km from 640K sq km in 1993 to 675.54 sq km in 2001.The states that had shown significant increase in forest cover are-Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Naidu, Gujrat, Punjab,West Bengal and Rajasthan.The states that have shown vital decline were Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

To regulate intense diversion of forestland for non-forestry functions,Forest Conservation Act 1980 was enacted.

Forests additionally play a very important role of influencing the ecological balance and life network like checking wearing and flooding, soil fertility, top-soil conservation ,regulating water cycle etc.

Air pollution

Indian cities are among the most contaminated in the world.Air in metropolitan cities is highly contaminated and toxic product concentrations exceed limits thought of safe by World Health Organisation(WHO).Suspended particulate levels are also beyond safe levels in most cities.

The main factors accounting to urban air quality deterioration  are growing manufacturing units, industrial emmissions, automobile exhaust and burning fossil fuel.They are the causes of rising respiratory and heart diseases.

In rural areas nitrates from chemical fertilisers and animal waste pollute the soil and water while in cities air is contaminated from vehicular and factory exhaust.

The suspended stuff in the air in mega cities of Calcutta, Chennai and Mumbai causing disease and death have gone up considerably in 5 years.

The indoor pollution arising from heating wood, animal dung ,burning crop residue in poorly ventilated places result in acute and chronic respiratory and cardiac diseases.

The End Result

Population pressure on productive land contributes to land degradation and pollution leading to depleting resources ,health issues and economic strain.It is time ,the world at large wakes up to its responsibility of maintaining a healthy balance between conservation and development through innovation so as to have a healthy and sustainable life for all.

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