Just like old times!😔
What is the condition of India’s Environment?
The air we breathe is the 3rd leading cause of death in India as it is responsible for 12.5% of all deaths (every year). B/w 2001 and 2018, we have lost over 1.6 million hectare of tree cover (about four times the geographical area of Goa). According to India’s Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 62 billion litres of urban sewage flows into the rivers every day, and most of it remains untreated.
What does the new budget hold?
- The ‘National Mission for Green India‘ which aims to protect, restore and enhance India’s forest cover has been allotted ₹240 crores (from ₹210 crores in FY 18) with national afforestation programme taking the biggest chunk of ₹179 crores (from ₹159 crores in FY18).
- The brand new ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyaan‘ that was announced by the PM to overcome the water crisis has been allotted ₹28,262 crores.
Is this enough?
While monetary allocations have been raised, they may still not be enough to tackle the intense conditions that choke India’s environmental health. When we add this to the emerging slowdown, the government’s monetary priorities may change midyear to boost growth (as always).
Environment issues get sidelined in India very often (regardless of who is in power) because only 7.8% of urban voters actually care about the environment (as per a recent survey).