Time Bomb Ticking

Time Bomb Ticking

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According to the SAARC-India Country Report 2015: Statistical Appraisal, produced by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Government of India (please click here to access)

• The consumption of fertilizer has shown an increasing trend in India. Between 2006-07 and 2011-12, the consumption of fertilizers has increased by 23 percent. The per hectare consumption of chemical fertilizers has increased from 89.63 kg in 2000-01 to 128.34 kg in 2012-13.

• There is excessive use of urea and a bias against micronutrients. As against the desirable NPK proportion of 4:2:1, the proportion is 7.9:3.1:1. As nitrogenous fertilizers are subsidized more than potassium and phosphorus-based fertilizers, the subsidy tends to benefit the crops and regions, which require higher use of nitrogenous fertilizers as compared to crops and regions which require higher application of P and K. The excessive use of urea has also affected the soil profile adversely.

• Water pollution is a serious problem in India as almost 75-80 percent of its surface water resources and a growing percentage of its groundwater reserves are contaminated by biological, toxic, organic and inorganic pollutants.

• The analysis of three major pollutants (adequate data) in residential/ industrial/ rural and other area with respect to National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) during 2012 revealed that sulphur dioxide (SO2) showed low concentration in most of the locations (356 locations, 96 percent), moderate in 12 locations (3 percent) and high in 2 locations.

• With respect to Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), 173 locations (47 percent) were in low category, 145 in moderate (39 percent), 42 in high (11 percent) and 10 (3 percent) in critical category during 2012.

• With respect to Particulate Matter size less than or equal to 10 micron (PM10) only 9 locations (2 percent) showed low PM10 level, 56 locations (15 percent) showed moderate, 84 high (23 percent) and 223 location (60 percent) were in critical category.

• In 2012, out of the 46 million plus/ metropolitan cities, 1, 6 and 34 cities exceeded the NAAQS with respect to SO2, NO2 and PM10 in the residential/ industrial/ rural/ commercial areas. One city exceeded the standard limit with respect to PM10 in ecologically sensitive area.

• The total quantity of waste generated in the country (based on weighment exercise by local bodies) is not reported. However, the Ministry of Urban Development, in its manual on solid waste management (in 2000), had estimated a waste generation of 1 lakh MT.

• During the year 2004-05, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) through National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur conducted survey in 59 cities (35 Metro cities and 24 State Capitals) and estimated 39,031 tonnes per day Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generation in these 59 cities/ towns. The CPCB has reported generation of 50,592 tonnes of MSW per day in the year 2010-11 in the same 59 cities.

• As per information received from State Pollution Control Boards/ Pollution Control Committees (during 2009-12), 1.27 lakh tonnes per day (TPD) municipal solid waste was generated in the country during 2011-12. Out of which, 89,334 TPD (70 percent) of MSW was collected and 15,881 TPD (12.45 percent) was processed or treated.

• A GIS-based project on National Hazardous Waste Information System has been developed to provide status of hazardous waste management in the country, according to which, more than 40,000 hazardous waste industries generate about 7-8 million tonnes per year.

• Municipal areas in the country generate 1.34 lakh metric tonnes per day of municipal solid waste (MSW), of which only 91,152 TPD waste is collected and 25,884 TPD treated.

• As per assessment by India State of Forest Report 2013 (ISFR 2013), total forest cover of the country is 6.98 lakh sq.km, which is 21.23 percent of the geographical area of the country. In terms of density classes, area covered by very dense forest (VDF) is 83,502 sq.km (2.54 percent), that with moderately dense forest (MDF) is 3.19 lakh sq.km (9.70 percent) and open forest (OF) is 2.96 lakh sq.km (8.99 percent)

• The National Forest Policy (1988) aims at maintaining two-third of the geographical area in hills of the country under forest and tree cover. Keeping this in view, forest cover in the hills of the country are presented separately. The forest cover in the hill districts of the country is 2.81 lakh sq.km, which is 39.75 percent of the total geographical area of these districts.

Rural Expert

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