environmental problems in india

India is facing many environmental problems. Like air pollution, water pollution, garbage and pollution of natural environment are challenges for India. The situation of environmental problems was very bad from 1947 to 1995. According to a study by World Bank experts between 1995 and 2010, India is making the fastest progress in the world in addressing its environmental issues and improving the quality of its environment. Nevertheless, India has a long way to go to reach the level of countries with developed economies of similar environmental quality.  There is a great challenge and opportunity for India. Environmental problems are the main causes of disease, health issues and impact on long term livelihood for India.


Some have cited economic development as the reason regarding environmental issues. Others believe economic development is the key to improving India’s environmental management and curbing the country’s pollution. Growing population is India’s environmental degradation. It has also been suggested that this theory has been challenged in systematic studies.

Rapidly increasing population and economic development and uncontrolled growth in urbanization and industrialization, large-scale industrial expansion and intensification, and destruction of forests are the main causes of environmental problems in India.

Major environmental issues include forest and agro-degradation, resource depletion (water, minerals, forests, sand, stones etc.), environmental degradation, public health, loss of biodiversity, lack of resilience in ecosystems, livelihood security for the poor .

It is estimated that the population of the country will increase to 1.26 billion by the year 2018. Projected population indicates that by 2050 India will be the most populous country in the world and second only to China. [4] Holding 2.4% of the world’s total area but 17.5% of the world’s population, India’s pressure on its natural resources has increased significantly. Many areas are badly affected due to water scarcity, soil erosion and depletion, deforestation, air and water pollution.

Major problems

India’s environmental problems include various natural hazards, notably cyclones and annual monsoon floods, population growth, increased individual consumption, industrialization, infrastructural development, poor agricultural practices and unequal distribution of resources, and have led to excessive human exposure to India’s natural environment. Change is happening. It is estimated that 60% of the cultivable land suffers from erosion, waterlogging and salinity. It is also estimated that between 4.7 and 12 billion tonnes of soil is lost annually to the top layer of soil due to erosion. Between 1947 and 2002, the average annual per capita availability of water has declined by 70% to 1822 cubic meters and over-exploitation of groundwater has become a problem in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The forest area in India is 18.34% (637,000 km) of its geographical area. Nearly half of the country’s forests are found in Madhya Pradesh (20.7%) and seven northeastern states (25.7%); Of these, the forests of the northeastern states are being destroyed rapidly. Deforestation is taking place for wood for fuel and expansion of agricultural land. This practice, combined with industrial and motor vehicle pollution, raises the temperature of the atmosphere, which changes the pattern of precipitation and increases the frequency of famines.

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute at Parvati estimates that a 3 degree Celsius increase in temperature will reduce annual wheat yield by 15-20%. These are huge problems for a nation whose population is largely dependent on the productivity of basic resources and whose economic development is largely dependent on industrial development. Civil conflicts in the eastern and northeastern states involve issues over natural resources – most notably forests and arable land.

Agricultural degradation of forest and land, depletion of resources (water, minerals, forests, sand, stones etc.), environmental degradation, public health, loss of biodiversity, lack of resilience in ecosystems, livelihood security for the poor. Major sources of pollution in India such as large-scale burning of fuelwood and biomass in the form of dry waste from livestock as a primary source of energy, ACK of organized waste and waste removal services, lack of sewage treatment operations, flood control and Monsoon water drainage system, diversion of consumer waste into rivers, lack of cremation practices near major rivers, government mandated protection of excessively outdated public transport pollution, and continued government-owned, high built between 1950-1980 The operation of the emission plants by the Government of India.

Air pollution, poor waste management, increasing water scarcity, falling groundwater tables, water pollution, conservation and quality of forests, loss of biodiversity, and land/soil degradation are some of the major environmental issues facing India. India’s population growth increases the problem of environmental issues and pressure for its resources.

water pollution

Out of 3,119 cities and towns in India, 209 have partially and only 8 have complete sewage treatment facilities (WHO 1992). [5] In 114 cities, untreated sewer water and half-burnt bodies after cremation are directly thrown into the Ganges River. [6] Downstream, untreated water is used for drinking, bathing and washing clothes. This condition is quite common in India as well as open defecation in India, even in urban areas.

Water resources have therefore not been linked to domestic or international violent conflict as previously predicted by some observers. Some possible exceptions to this include caste violence related to the water distribution of the Cauvery River and political tensions associated with it, with actual and potential populations displaced by dam projects, especially such projects on the Narmada River . Punjab is a potential site for pollution, such as a small river called the Budha Nala. Malwa region of Punjab, India, flows through a densely populated area such as Ludhiana district and then the Sutlej River. , which is a tributary of the Indus River, according to recent researches it has been indicated that once more Bhopal-like conditions are going to happen. A 2008 joint study conducted by PGIMER and the Punjab Pollution Control Board found that groundwater and tap water in the districts around Nulla contained calcium, magnesium, fluoride, calcium, magnesium, fluoride, in excess of the permissible limit (MPL). Insecticides like mercury and beta-endosulfan and heptachlor were found. Apart from this, pesticides like COD and BOD (chemical and biochemical oxygen demand), ammonia, phosphate, chloride, chromium and arsenic and chlorpyrifos were also in high concentration in the water. Nickel and selenium were also found in groundwater, and high concentrations of lead, nickel and cadmium were found in tap water

air pollution

Indian cities are polluted by emissions from vehicles and industries. The dust caused by vehicles on the road also contributes up to 33% to the air pollution . [13] In a city like Bangalore , about 50% of children suffer from asthma . India has implemented Bharat Stage II (Euro II) emission standards for vehicles since 2005.

Transportation is the biggest cause of air pollution in India. Millions of old diesel engines are burning diesel that contains 150 to 190 times more sulfur than European diesel. Of course the biggest problem is in big cities where the density of these vehicles is very high. On the positive side, the government is taking steps slowly but surely, reacting to this huge problem and the health risks associated with the people. For the first time in 2001, it was decided that the entire public transport system, except trains, would be made capable of running on Compressed Gas (CPG). Electric rickshaw is being designed and will be subsidized by the government but cycle rickshaw is banned in Delhi and due to this there will be dependence on other modes of transport, mainly engine vehicles.

Environmental problems and Indian law

Since the 1980s, the Supreme Court of India has been actively engaged in pro-India environmental issues. The Supreme Court of India is engaged in interpreting and directly introducing new changes in environmental jurisprudence. Through a series of court directives and decisions, additional powers over existing ones have been reinterpreted, environmental laws have been reinterpreted, new institutions and structures to protect the environment have been laid down, and new principles created. Public interest litigation and judicial activism on environmental issues extend beyond the Supreme Court of India. It is included in the High Courts of different states.


Poor air quality, water pollution and waste pollution – all affect the quality of food and the environment necessary for ecosystems. Indian forests The diversity and distribution of forest vegetation is large.

India , which comes under the Indomalay Ecological Zone, is an important biodiversity zone; It is home to 7.6% of all mammals , 12.6% of all birds, 6.2% of all reptiles and 6.0% of flowering plants .

In recent decades, Indian wildlife has been threatened by human encroachment; In response, the system of national parks and protected areas , established in 1935, has been substantially expanded. In 1972, India began efforts to save threatened natural habitats by enacting the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger; Several other federal protections have come to light since 1980. In addition to over 500 wildlife sanctuaries , India has 14 biosphere reserves, four of which are part of the International Series of Biosphere Reserves; 25 watersheds are registered under the Ramsar Convention .

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