Jaipur, January 19
India has only two buses for every 1,000 people while 80 per cent of MPs are yet to identify villages under Centre's model village scheme, an environmental NGO on Thursday said in a report. It also highlighted the country's loss of forests, water bodies, arable land and missed targets on soil health cards.
Centre for Science and Environment in its State of India's Environment 2017, an annual publication from Down To Earth magazine which was released at the Jaipur Literature Festival also said that India had issued only 23 per cent of 140 million Soil Health Cards in October 2016.
The report released by CSE DG Sunita Narain said that India ranks a dismal 110 of 149 countries on the Sustainable Development Index while nearly 30 per cent of land in India is degraded.
CSE also said the historic Paris agreement, which was signed by nations to limit global temperature rise to 2 degree Celsius, is leading the world on a temperature trajectory of 3°Celsius and more.
"On an average, India has only two buses for every 1,000 people? This is despite the growing emphasis on public transport as cities across the country succumb to severe air pollution.
"Many water bodies in India are now severely polluted.
Three of Rajasthan's most well-known lakes - the Jalmahal, Jaisamand and Udaisagar - are in a list of the most severely polluted water bodies of India, with BOD levels above the safe limit of 3 mg/l3," the report said.
The report also said while there has been an overall decline in environmental crimes reported in the country, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan account for 76 per cent of the cases and the maximum number of people arrested for environmental crimes.
It said 26 of India's 29 states have reported a rise in area undergoing desertification in the past 10 years while almost 30 per cent of the country's area is degraded.
"India ranks among the lowest in the list of countries on the Sustainable Development Index," it said.
It said while the environment ministry granted clearances for forest diversion to 249 projects, Chennai had lost 50 per cent of water bodies to urbanisation till December 2016 while environmental crimes declined 12 per cent between 2014 and 2015.
"The Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 11, 2014, is losing steam.
In its second phase, only 164 of 796 Members of Parliament (MPs) have identified villages for developing them into ideal villages. — PTI
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