NEW DELHI: The people of Delhi feel embattled on the environment front — most believe that matters have turned for the worse in the last five years, according to a six- city survey conducted by The Energy and Resources Institute, or TERI.
Consider this: Over 80 per cent Delhi- NCR residents think waste management has taken a nosedive. But that is only one aspect. At least 80 per cent also feel that surface water quality and its availability have become worse.
A similar number express a similar opinion about groundwater availability, tree cover and biodiversity.
Besides, a significant 40 per cent people felt that even air quality has become worse.</p><p> There is support from experts on why residents feel the sharp decline in environmental indicators.
Ravi Agarwal, director of Toxics Links told MAIL TODAY , “It’s time we took hard decisions. The overall situation (in the NCR) is much worse in terms of ozone, benzene and heavy metals. The moment you enter the city, many feel respiratory problems, great strain and their perception is right.”
Over 80% residents has gone down TERI’s director general Rajendra K. Pachauri said the environmental survey of six leading urban centres had tried to capture people’s perception of key environmental parameters in the last five years.
The other urban centres that were also part of this TERI survey — the ‘ TERI Environmental Survey 2013’ was conducted with a sample size of 4,039 respondents — were Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata.
“We selected a total of six different themes: green cover, climate change, waste and waste management, water quality and air quality,” Pachauri said, adding that there was a much greater need for attention to environment as the country, and especially these urban regions, see a high average GDP growth.
In Delhi, Chennai, Kolkota and Mumbai people surveyed felt that the transport sector was the highest contributor to air pollution, closely followed by factories.
In Bangalore, people rated factories as the highest air pollution factor while in Hyderabad people blamed construction activities.</p><p> Incidentally, the only parameter where Delhi residents felt that matters had improved was drinking water quality and availability.
Only the residents of Hyderabad felt that the water situation had worsened while in all other cities too the people felt there drinking water quality had improved.</p><p> However, Pachauri warned that rapid urbanisation had resulted in environmental degradation.
Agarwal also concurred with Pachauri’s view. Referring to Delhi and Mumbai, Agarwal said, “We need to take hard decision on green cover, land use planning and the amount of waste produced urgently.”
Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.