State of Environment Report 2022: Rivers facing heavy pollution:CSE

What is the News?

The State of Environment Report 2022 has been released.

What is the State of Environment Report 2022?

Released by: Center for Science and Environment (CSE). 

Purpose: The report is an annual compendium of environment-development data and is derived from public sources.

What are the key findings of the report?

Heavy Pollution in RiversThree out of every four river monitoring stations in India posted alarming levels of heavy toxic metals such as lead, iron, nickel, cadmium, arsenic, chromium and copper. 

Poor Wastewater TreatmentOf the 588 water quality stations monitored for pollution, total coliform and biochemical oxygen demand were high in 239 and 88 stations respectively across 21 States. This is an indicator of poor wastewater treatment from industry, agriculture and domestic households.

Note: As per Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB), India dumps 72% of its sewage waste without treatment. Ten States do not treat their sewage at all.

Coastal ErosionOver a third of India’s coastline that is spread across 6,907 km saw some degree of erosion between 1990 and 2018. West Bengal is the worst hit with over 60% of its shoreline under erosion. 

The reasons for coastal erosion include an increase in the frequency of cyclones and sea-level rise and anthropogenic activities such as the construction of harbours, beach mining and building of dams.

Total Forest CoverIndia’s total forest cover has registered a little over a 0.5% increase between 2017 and 2021. But most of the increase has taken place in the open forest category which includes commercial plantations. 

This has happened at the cost of moderately dense forest which is normally the area closest to human habitations. At the same time, very dense forests, which absorb maximum carbon dioxide from the atmosphere occupy just 3% of total forest cover.

Source:  The post is based on the article Rivers facing heavy pollution:CSEpublished in The Hindu on 6th June 2022.

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