Sunday, March 1, 2015

India's Pollution Problem: A Brief Introduction




India, like many other developing countries, is suffering the price of rapid expansion. Not only do they suffer from heavy metal pollution, but there is also a serious fertilizer problem. Chemical fertilizers and biocides are used to save crops from insects, pests, and weeds, but unfortunately, the, “biocides first kill germs and unwanted plants and then degrade the quality of soil” (Chand). What’s worse is that the pesticides used can contaminate the very crops they’re supposed to protect--all while harming animals, the environment, and people in the process. The problem doesn’t seem to get getting better. In fact, “it is estimated that India will require 45-50 million tonnes of chemical fertilizers as against the present consumption of about 17 million tonnes. This means that pollution by increasing use of chemical fertilizers will increase considerably in the years to come” (Chand). 
 
Despite the grim warning, using safer, organic farming methods can turn the tide against pollution, but in some cases it isn’t simply a matter of method. For example, along west coast of India, south of Mumbai, is the Belapur Industrial Complex. In recent years, a paper was published that found contamination in a nearby wetland. Specifically, a concentration of heavy metals was recorded in the area during the country's dry season and, “these heavy metals have a marked effect on the aquatic flora and fauna which through bio magnification enter the food chain and ultimately affect the human beings as well,” (Singare et al.). A variety of pollution exists, which can only be a given for such a large country. It is a positive sign, however, that these problems are gaining more and more attention. One of the best ways to combat soil contamination and pollution is to raise awareness about the issue. Only then can people really come together to find solutions to the problems that plague wildlife, the environment, and everybody else living on the planet. 

The best course of action, in the meantime, is to support the Indian farmers and companies that are trying to make a difference and continue raising awareness to the overall issue at hand. 

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Author: Hanna Bernhard, 2015


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