The explosion of urbanisation in India is taking a toll on the green coverage of the country. With more and more expansion of cities and metropolitans, the number of trees and plantation is significantly dwindling. The quality of air, water is degrading as a result. With the decreasing green cover, Air pollution levels are also increasing. Cities are the source of several dangerous gases, particularly vehicles like passenger cars, Lorries, buses which generate carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrous oxides (Nox), benzene, ozone in addition to fine particles released by diesel motors which create a serious threat to human health.
Damning fact of our cities
Unplanned urbanisation is accompanied by concretization across the cities—about half the toxic particles in Delhi’s air, the world’s worst, come from construction dust and destruction of vegetation. A new study by T.V. Ramachandra and his colleagues at IISc’s Centre for Ecological Sciences provides statistical evidence to the process of creating India’s concrete jungles. Examples:
- Kolkata’s tree cover, a third of its area in 1980, is likely to fall to 3.37% by 2030.
- Ahmedabad’s tree cover, from 45% of its area in 1970, will likely fall to 3% by 2030.
- Bhopal’s tree cover: From 67% in 1992 (let’s just ignore 92% in 1977) to a likely 11% by 2030.
Bengaluru’s condition is the worst over years. Reports in 2012 suggest, over four decades, Bengaluru’s vegetation declined 66%, its once-extensive lakes 74%. Construction grew 584% over this period.
The UN predicts an urban growth rate of 62% between 2010 and 2020; 108% between 2020 and 2030 and Urban planners has to maintain at least 33 percent green cover in cities. It is quite evident that we fall short of the required numbers by a large margin.
Lack of debate
For these issues to be addressed, we should make sure that environmental issues are at the forefront of debates in our country which is not the case as it stands. The lack of awareness due to mainstream media shying away from these crucial issues has not helped in spreading awareness of the issue. Let us learn and spread the word about the alarming situation our cities are in.
The Logical Indian is appalled by the numbers and drastic reduction of green cover. We request the citizens to raise their voice to ensure our cities are safe and clean for us and for our future generations to live. We request the government to give serious thought into Urban Planning and ensure development does not happen at the cost of environment and health of citizens.