By the end of last century while we were feeling enthusiastic to welcome the new millennium, we also should have felt that we are standing on the threshold of a population explosion.
The total Population of the continent of Australia is only as much as it grows every year in India. With this tremendous rate of Population growth all the problems related with the conditions also simultaneously aggravate.
More ingestion in the towns; more traffic on the roads; more need for space resulting in the deforestation of the forest areas; more of dust, more of smoke; more of factories more of effluent wastes; dirtier the air, polluted the water — to say the least, more of men, more of problems.
A survey conducted by the Jawaharlal Nehru University disclosed that Inspire of all incentives and disincentives given to the people for controlling population and even by the drive of ‘selling’ the family planning drive by government as well as voluntary agencies no desired impact on the rate of population growth has been registered.
What is therefore needed is that, what has not been found possible by persuasion shall have to be done by drastic regulation and legislation. There should be ‘one-child a family’ benefits that need to be promulgated and those violating the norm be penalised by depriving them of the right of franchise and employment and some other such fundamental rights. This is the first and foremost step to control environmental pollution.
There is the need to balance the eco-system. With the increase in population there is pressure on natural resources.
The Himalayas which are known to be the frontiers of our land are also the controlling factor of our climatic conditions; of providing the country with flowing rivers and luxuriant forests. These forests growing on the steep slopes have gradually been cut down and land thus made available for farming needed for more mouths to be fed.
Deforestation has on one hand, resulted in the soil erosion, thus wasting the land resources, on the other hand has destroyed the climate controlling factor—more forests, more rainfall, — that used to be norm, now, depletion of forests areas, imbalances in the atmosphere that has become the scene.
Trees are a great source environmental balance; both in the process of keeping atmosphere clean and pollution free. Trees exhale oxygen in the morning hours, which provides so much of energy and vitality to nature. Trees were worshipped in our country and are worshipped even till today.
The peepal.The Banyan, the Neem, theTulsi, the Maulshree, the Amla, the Banana and many others. What one worships shall never be harmed. Thus while such worshipped trees have medicinal values — that is one aspect of their usefulness, their deity nature makes them free from harm of cutting them down.
This is how by deifying trees our ancients created such an aura of sanctity to them that harming them in any way was considered a sin; a sacrilegious act. This was a way evolved to save trees and save life from pollution in such a simple indirect manner.
Our ancients had a great understanding regarding life and what harms it and what heals it. We have given up those lessons lent to us by our ancients first for our material gains and this attitude has let loose hell in our lives. This is what we find from this misguided deforestation and indiscriminate destruction of this natural wealth causing so much of eco-imbalance as well as aiding the process of pollution of the atmosphere.
The construction of big dams like theater Dam in Uttar Pradesh and the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat has, if on one hand provided a source for additional resources of energy and power, on the other hand taken away large chunk of the forest area, depriving the Country of that rich natural resource as also used up a area of land. It is being said that the constructions one of the dams like the Koyna dam on the Western.
Ghats has resulted and may result in the recurrence earthquakes. Construction of dams in the shape of such large reservoirs results in the elevation of subsoil water in the vicinity with the consequent changes in the level of fluoride, calcium, trace metal etc.
More mouths to feed needed more produce from the fields. The modernization of agriculture has its good points but bad points too. The indiscriminate use of fertilisers and pesticides while helping in the bigger yields has sent up in the atmosphere such substances which are enemies of the eco-system.
The Ozone layer which is nature’s umbrella over the earth to protect it from the harmful rays of the sun is fast depleting and has been found losing its form and shape, thus exposing the mother — earth to grave dangers.
This is what we human beings are doing with nature — the game as being played for more and still more material gains. Intensive cultivation has led to soil degradation in some parts of the country. Tracts of land have become saline or alkaline.
The major rivers carry nearly 85 per cent of the surface run off. Industrialization and population growth of cities, towns and villages along the rivers has polluted the rivers.
A paper mill, a sugar mill, a chemical plant, a refinery or a fertilizer plant finds it easy to discharge the effluents in the rivers. The towns also dispose of their sewage into these rivers, turning the once life-giving source, dangerous to human and animal life.
All these rivers carry all this pollution to the sea and even the deep seas are becoming increasingly polluted. Even the fish of such rivers and even of the seas are rendering themselves as dangerous eatables.
Environmental welfare and economic development are not exclusive to each other. But a balance has to be truck. Otherwise we shall become a richer but an unhealthy land.
Economic growth should be undertaken but not at the cost of human health. Concern for the environment is essential for a rational development of natural resources. If this balance is lost sight of, life of a few may become prosperous but the life of many would stand devastated.