1. How are lacunas in Solid waste management responsible for underground water pollution? What are ill effects of underground water pollution?
Solid waste management is collection, transportation, and disposal of garbage, sewage and other waste products. It is the process of treating solid wastes and offers variety of solutions for recycling items that don’t belong to trash. It is about how garbage can be used as a valuable resource.
Annually 43 million of solid waste is generated in India, making urban India third largest garbage generator in world. So far Indian performance in handling this garbage efficiently, has been dismal.
Lacuna’s in the management leads to severe water problems in following ways:
Inefficient segregation at source results into dangerous wastes like medical wastes, radioactive wastes ending up in landfills leading to accumulation of toxic metals which magnifies and pollutes groundwater.
Untreated garbage is dumped in landfills which are not properly constructed and sealed causing leaching of toxic elements into the aquifers.
Mass dumping in the grounds without proper techniques leads to pressure on the underground water and thus water reach increases.
Ill-effects of underground water pollution are:
Underground water if contaminated poses a serious threat to health and life of the citizens. Leaching of toxic elements in water may cause diseases like Minamata, Itai-itai due to mercury and arsenic poisoning, respectively,
Children are the worst victims of polluted underground water.
Ground water is an important source of irrigation for agriculture. Polluted water results into degradation and salinization of soil thereby reducing productivity and even making the land barren. Also, contaminated water may induce certain diseases in the crops leading to harvest losses and it may lead to accumulation of chemicals at each trophic level.
Deposition of plastic makes hinders the percolation water resulting into depletion of water in aquifers. The groundwater in india has already reduced from 3000 cubic meter to 1200 cubic meter per person in last 50 years, which puts India into water stressed category.
Polluted water also deteriorate infrastructure like drain pipes, storage tanks etc. Industries may have to set up water purifying plant which would incur additional cost.
Effective implementation of Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 is the need of the hour.
MoUD’s programme of promoting compost-from-waste must be upscaled.
Information, education and communication campaigns must be held in order to generate awareness among the masses.
Ideas like waste to energy, mineral extraction from waste etc. Needs to be adopted practically.
It is high time that we focus on solid waste management system in the country. What is required is political will and commitment alongwith active participation from public to achieve this.
2. India being an agrarian country is suffering from Agricultural pollution. How is agriculture responsible for degradation of land, air and water? What measures can be taken to reduce it?
Agricultural pollution refers to biotic and abiotic byproducts of farming practices that result in contamination or degradation of the environment and surrounding ecosystems, and/or cause injury to humans and their economic interests.
EFFECT ON LAND:
Intensive and unscientific farming practices (conventional tillage and excess application of chemical fertilisers) lead to
destruction of soil structure, loss of soil organic matter, soil biodiversity and soil health;
exposed soils and landscapes, surface sealing, decreased water infiltration, increased runoff and soil erosion leading to desertification
disruption of many important soil-mediated ecosystem functions; and
loss in productivity, resilience and eventual abandonment of land
In developing countries, the combination of all these elements is a major driver of food and nutrition insecurity and a host of other related challenges, such as poverty reduction, effective adaptation to climate change, and sustainable and equitable development.
EFFECT ON WATER:
Contamination by both organic (farm runoff of fertilizer) and inorganic (pesticides, fertilizers etc) can cause leaching, eutrophication, heavy metal contamination ( hg, cd, ar) etc. can cause both morbidity and mortality of water organisms and humans in particular leading to severe disturbances in food chains, bio diversity etc, turbidity due to sedimentation, manure spreading, bioaccumulation in many fish species, siltation of water habitat etc.
WHO report says that the average use of fertilizers on average in India is 3.5 times more than the world average.
EFFECT OF AIR POLLUTION:
Agricultural air pollution comes mainly in the form of ammonia, which enters the air as a gas from heavily fertilized fields and livestock waste. It then combines with pollutants from combustion mainly nitrogen oxides and sulfates from vehicles, power plants and industrial processes to create tiny solid particles, or aerosols Combined with GHG’S emission from livestock(FAO estimates it to be around 14.5%), pollution from agricultural waste burning seen in many villages across northern India can cause various problems like global warming, acid rains, climate change in the long term causing various diseases to humans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), children raised in communities near factory farms are more likely to develop asthma or bronchitis.
MEASURES TO DECREASE AGRICULTURAL POLLUTION:
Nutrient management- applying appropriate fertilizer and use of bio manures.
Use of farm buffers- planting of legumes, shrubs, trees across fields can prevent both soil erosion and surface water runoff.
Livestock waste management like composting, solid liquid waste separation.
Use of GMO’s like enviro-pig to improve digestive efficiency of animals etc
Encourage usage of bio pesticides and bio control agents.
Various policy initiatives like NMSA, PKVY, RKVY , IWDP along with following and formulating policy on judicial pronouncements(both SC and NGT) like prevention of straw burning and use of satellite based monitoring will further ease the menace of agricultural pollution.
3. What is photo pollution? What are the negative impacts of photo pollution on environment and humans? How can it be checked?
Light pollution, also known as photo pollution, is the presence of anthropogenic light in the night environment. It is exacerbated by excessive, misdirected or obtrusive uses of light, but even carefully used light fundamentally alters natural conditions. As a major side-effect of urbanization, it is blamed for compromising health, disrupting ecosystems and spoiling aesthetic environments.
At the very least it causes discomfort to eyes due to its brightness.
It may also lead to prenatal disorders, cardiovascular disorders, allergies etc
Itdisturbs the sleep cycle of body and circadian rhythm.
It may obstruct astronomical research.
Energy waste, Lighting is responsible for one-fourth of all electricity consumption worldwide, consequent CO2 pollution.
Nocturnal mammals, experience a decline in reproduction and a difficulty foraging for food.
Many species of birds migrate and or hunt at night. They depend upon the dark and the stars to find their way. Their sensitivity to dim star-light makes them extremely vulnerable to bright city lights.
Female sea turtles like to nest on remote and dark beaches. Naturally, coastal cities and their haze of light pollution make the beaches brighter and discourage nesting.
Reducing light pollution implies many things, such as reducing sky glow, reducing glare, reducing light trespass, and reducing clutter. The method for best reducing light pollution, therefore, depends on exactly what the problem is in any given instance. Possible solutions include:
Utilizing light sources of minimum intensity necessary to accomplish the light’s purpose.
Turning lights off using a timer or occupancy sensor or manually when not needed.
Improving lighting fixtures, so that they direct their light more accurately towards where it is needed, and with fewer side effects.
Adjusting the type of lights used, so that the light waves emitted are those that are less likely to cause severe light pollution problems. Mercury, metal halide and above all first generation of blue-light LED road luminaires are much more pollutant than sodium lamps: Earth atmosphere scatters and transmits blue light better than yellow or red light. It is a common experience observing “glare” and “fog” around and below LED road luminaires as soon as air humidity increases, while orange sodium lamp luminaires are less prone to show this phenomenon.
Evaluating existing lighting plans, and re-designing some or all of the plans depending on whether existing light is actually needed.
There is a global dark sky movement to fight photo pollution which promotes dark sky preserves. They are protected areas like national parks with zero light policy.
More and more people should participate in efforts like WWF’s earth hour, shutting down lights for an hour.
4. Eco – bridges are an important tool in conserving wild environment and reduce human and wildlife confrontation. Elucidate.
Why in news:
Telangana State will have eco-friendly bridges over a canal cutting across the tiger corridor linking the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra with the forests in Telangana’s Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. It requires the laying of fertile soil to grow grass and plants over the structure, so that fragmentation of the reserve forest is camouflaged. The ‘eco-bridges’ will be constructed at key spots along the 72 km-long, and at some places over a kilometre wide, right flank canal of the Pranahita barrage in the Bejjur and Dahegaon mandals.
What are eco bridges:
Eco brigdes are planned as tools to facilitate easy movement of wild animals, and to reduce the chances of man-animal conflict and the accidents of wild animals while crossing the highwasys.
Their primary aim is to connect the scattered and fragmented patches of reserved forests to create corridors for easy movements of the animals.
It involves laying grass and trees over the manmade bridges, either of concrete or steel, to make it look like a natural pathway.
They have gained prominence due to the increased number of accidents and deaths of wild animals while crossing the national and state highways which run through these forests.
The concept has been popular in many countries which have created such bridges over highways for the transport of animals ,e.g North Brabant Province, Netherlands, Banff National Park, Canda for the easy movement of Bears.
5. With increase in the confrontation with our neighbours and current condition of our armend forces. It is argued that Indian armed forced are in a dire need of reforms at many levels. Do you agree? Discuss.
India is aiming to become a super power and overtake china’s economy in near future. For that to materialize just soft power is not enough, in order to enhance the military capabilities reforms are needed in defense to match the changing global order.
Reforms in field of Manpower:
Sahayak: Army trained personals are used as sahayak to carry rations instead they can be outsourced to civilians.
Assistants: Using army personals as cooks, assistants in officers’ quarters.
Reforms in resources:
Obsolete machines: There is need for upgradation in machines.
Production: Ordinance factories need capital and skill infusion
Reforms in Budgetary allocation:
Capital expenditure: More allocations is needed for equipment’s.
Share in GDP: Needs to increase share of defense spending in GDP from less than 2 to 6-8%.
Recommendations of Shekatkar committee:
Capital expenditure: Enough capital expenditure available for modernization.
Performance audit: Audit for non-combat roles.
Rationalization of man power: Will save crores of revenue.
Joint war service college: to train mid-level officers.
Reform in NCC: shift from MoD to MHRD.
Tri-service commend: 4 star tri-service chief.
Most of the recommendations of committee were accepted and are in process of implementation. But most important is the appointment of Four-star Tri service chief which is very important to integrate all three forces under one command that has to be done on priority basis.