You are here: Home News India is South Asia’s top polluter
India is South Asia’s top polluter

Aug 13, 2013

A new World Bank report looks at India's growth over the years and notes the massive decline in India's environment and overall environmental degradation which costs India around $80 billion a year.

India’s remarkable growth story has lost a great deal of its gloss owing to the accompanying decline in the quality of its environment and the resulting scarcity of resources like water. Indians are at a far greater risk of suffering from pollution-related illnesses now than they were a decade ago, when the country took off on the fast-growth track, according to a World Bank report..

The report points out that environmental degradation costs India $80 billion per year or 5.7 per cent of its economy. For an environmentally sustainable future, the country’s policy-makers need to show far better understanding of the value of its natural resources and bio-diverse ecosystem.

In a recent environment survey of 132 countries, India ranked 126th overall and last in the 'Air Pollution (effects on human health)' behind even such notorious polluters like China, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Similarly, a WHO survey of G-20 economies has found that 13 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in India.

Meanwhile, poverty is both a reason for the problem and its worst victim: With land degradation leading to lower agricultural yields and depleting forests and grasslands, the poor are forced into mining and overusing the limited resources available to them for their livelihood which further degrades the environment.

Sure, India's strong growth over the last decade has lifted millions of people from abject poverty; but going ahead the biggest challenge for the country would be to cope with the adverse consequences of indiscriminate growth.

"But does growth so essential for development - have to come at the price of worsened air quality and other environmental impacts? Green growth is necessary. With cost of environmental degradation at 5.7 per cent of GDP, environment could become a major constraint in sustaining future economic growth. Further, it may be impossible or prohibitively expensive to clean up later," reads the report.

"While the overall policies focus should be on meeting basic needs and expanding opportunities for growth, they should not be at the expense of unsustainable environmental degradation," said Muthukumara Mani, senior environmental economist at the World Bank.

Most Read
Most Shared
You May Like
search

blank.gif

blank.gif

blank.gif

Jobs at OneWorld

research-coordinator.png

rolling-internships.png

blank.gif

blank.gif

blank.gif

blank.gif

telangana-sdg.jpg

blank.gif

Global Goals 2030
 
OneWorld South Asia Group of Websites