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

(i) Rising population

(ii) Air pollution

(iii) Water contamination

(iv) Affluent consumption standards

(v) Illiteracy

(vi) Industrialization

(vii) Urbanization

(viii) Reduction of forest coverage

(ix) Poaching

(x) Global warming.

(i) Rising Population

Rising population has exerted an excessive burden on the environment in terms of two basic aspects. The intensive and extensive extraction of both renewable and non-renewable resources has led to exhaustion of the vital resources. Also, the explosive population size has triggered excessive demand for housing, thereby, resulting in widespread deforestation and fast depletion of other natural resources leading to ecological imbalances. Therefore, it is high time for the Indian government to take preventive measures to control population explosion.

(ii) Air Pollution

Air consists of oxygen that supports life. Air pollution implies contamination of air, i.e. absence of fresh air (oxygen) to breathe. Various pollutants like CO2, CO, SO2, SO, etc. pollutes air. Air pollution causes hypertension, asthma, respiratory and cardio-vascular problems. Thus, the Indian government should take various steps to control air pollution, avoid deforestation, increase health investment and also search for new alternative pollution free technology such as CNG, etc.

(iii) Water Contamination

Contamination of water or pollution of water is posing a serious threat to human life. It is one of the principal causes of all deadly diseases such as diarrhea, hepatitis, cholera, etc. It occurs due to dumping of industrial waste, agricultural waste and sewerage into the water bodies. Thus, the Indian government should put a check on wastewater disposal. This calls for high capital investment for installation and maintenance of purifier machines.

(iv) Affluent Consumption Standards

Affluent Consumption Standards have placed a huge stress on the environment in terms of resources supply and assimilation of waste. The resources have become extinct and wastes generated are beyond the absorptive capacity of the environment leading to environmental crises. The government is compelled to spend huge amounts on research and development to explore alternative environment friendly resources. Also, upgradation of environmental quality entails huge cost 

(v) Illiteracy

Man, if illiterate will not use the resources judiciously that will ultimately lead to overuse or misuse of the scarce resources. The resources can be judiciously and efficiently exploited (with minimum waste) only when people are aware of and skillful in utilising the resources. Otherwise lack of knowledge and skills may lead to excessive extraction of resources and, thereby, its misuse. Thus, the government should take measures to create awareness and spread technical knowledge among people about various efficient and economising methods.

(vi) Industrialisation

Industrialisation, on one hand, enhances our living standards but, on the other hand, it causes deforestation, depletion of natural resources. In the blind rage to achieve economic development, industrialisation acts as a catalyst. In order to speed up the process of industrialisation, natural resources are exploited at a rapid pace. More trees are being felled and, increasing volume of toxics and industrial wastes are dumped into the water bodies. All these culminate to ecological imbalances posing threat to sustainable economic development. Thus, the government should take measures to check undue and unnecessary industrial growth in order to restore ecological balance.

(vii) Urbanisation

Urbanisation, on the one hand, infuses modernisation of lifestyle but, on the other hand, it leads to deforestation. In order to meet the growing demand for houses, more trees are to be felled, decreasing the land-per-man ratio. Rapid urbanisation puts an excess burden on the natural resources, causing depletion. Urbanisation also reduces the availability of land for farming purpose and lowers farm outputs. Hence, the government should take measures to mitigate the impact of urbanisation by promoting small and cottage rural industries, rural infrastructural development, thereby, reducing the rural-urban migration. Further, the government should also promote afforestation and most importantly, adopt measures to arrest population explosion.

(viii) Reduction of forest coverage

The need for reduction of forest coverage or deforestation arises due to the growing demand for land, wood, rise in population and river valley projects. Deforestation leads to reduction in oxygen level in air, soil erosion, climate change and global warming due to rise in the CO2 level. Thus, measures are needed to promote afforestation, opening up of sanctuaries and national park such as Jim Corbett National Park.

(ix) Poaching

Poaching is the illegal capturing, killing and hunting of animals. Due to this, many animals are on the verge of extinction. The excessive hunting and killing of animals result in serious ecological imbalances. Thus, in order to save the rare species such as Tiger, Asian Elephants, Grevy’s Zebra, etc. more sanctuaries and national parks are to be set up. There is also need for various environmental legislations like Endangered Species Act in the USA that imposes strict penalties on the law breakers.

(x) Global warming

Global warming refers to the phenomenon of sustained increase in global temperature due to environmental pollution and deforestation. It is caused by the emission of Green House Gases that include, particularly, carbon dioxide. The increase in the level of carbon dioxide raises the temperature of the earth surface. This risen temperature accelerates the melting of polar ice that further leads to the rise in the sea level. Thus, the incidence of natural calamities rises due to disturbed ecological balance, thereby, posing a threat to human life.

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