Category Archives: Environment

Short Essay on Environmental Pollution

Environmental Pollution

Environmental Pollution threats the existence of human life. Environment is the surroundings in which we live. It includes climate, soil, water, flora and fauna on which depends the human civilization. But the environment is constantly changing by man for his own needs through destroying forests, polluting air, water and soils. All these environmental problems are known as environmental pollution.

Pollution-free Environment

This is a sustainable environment in which man can continue to exist keeping his natural relations with other components of the environment.

Types of Pollution

There are three types of environmental pollution

  1. Land pollution,
  2. Water pollution and
  3. Air pollution.

Land Pollution

Definition: Land is a precious component of environment as we live on land. Most of human occupations like farming, mining, and industry develop on land. Depletion of the land is called land pollution.

Nature of land pollution: Land pollution includes loss of soil fertility, increase in acidity of the soil, erosion or removal of top soil etc.

Water Pollution

Definition: Pure water is rare in nature. Any man-made or natural change in the properties of water like physical, chemical and biological characteristics may adversely affect the utility of water. This is termed Water Pollution.

Nature of Water Pollution: Water may be polluted by sewage contamination, industrial wastes, and farm wastes and is harmful to natural habitat and to the wild life also. The water may be toxic to aquatic fauna when it is chlorinated or mixed with petroleum, arsenic etc.

Air Pollution

Definition: Air pollution is the mixing of some substances like green house gases, odor, vapor or carbon particles in air in such concentration as may badly affect man and his environment.

Nature of air pollution: Nature of air pollutants is of different types, namely admixture of pollutant gases and green house gases, ozone depletion, formation of smog, acid rain etc.

-Rahul Chopra.

Sources of Air Pollution in India

Sources of Air Pollution in India

Sources of Air Pollution in India are

  1. Gaseous emissions from automobile exhausts are important sources of air pollution in India. The automobiles emit un-burnt hydrocarbons CO, NO2 and lead oxide.
  2. Industrial chimney wastes are responsible for massive air pollution in India. Metallurgical plants, smelters, leather, synthetic rubber, chemicals and similar other industries pollute local atmospheric air.
  3. Coal burning fly ash, SO2, CO, NO2 are the harmful pollutants released from thermal power plants,
  4. Harmful substances like pesticides, dust particles spread through the agricultural fields.
  5. Dust particles that are released from cement factories, Coal based thermal plants, etc. causes substantial air pollution.

-Rahul Chopra.

Essay on Drought and Floods in India

Drought and Floods in India

Drought and floods play havoc with Indian agriculture. In India, agriculture has always been dependent on nature. It still remains highly sensitive to the vagaries of weather. Droughts in various parts of the country in recent years have sufficiently proved that if rain Gods decides to play truant with India, then the farmers can do nothing but helplessly watch their crops wither away. Although we no longer experience the kind of devastating famines which occurred during the British Raj – thanks to the agricultural productivity, sustained economic growth and food security system developed in the country – the agricultural output still remains at the mercy of natural forces.

The last few years have been very unkind to the farmers. While there is a serious drought in one part of the country, the other parts suffer untold misery due to abnormal rainfall resulting in floods. A run of four poor monsoons, freaky weather conditions culminated in one of the worst droughts in 1987 when out of 35 meteorological sub-divisions in the country 21 had deficient rainfall. It caused substantial crop damage and scarcity of drinking water. People in the rural areas, particularly the small farmers, had to face hardships.

In a country where 80% of its people live in rural areas and depends on agriculture for their sustenance, one can imagine how such natural calamities play havoc with their lives. They are driven to starvation as they have nothing to fall back on. Most resign themselves to their fate. Some decide to move to urban areas to look for work to feed their families. While the shock of monsoon failure is most severely felt by the people in the rural areas where wide spread crop losses cause distress and misery, abnormal rainfall in some years also causes immense damage to human life, property and crops through floods.

The sudden strain which is imposed on the economy by such massive drought causes a severe setback to the momentum of development. The decline in the water levels in important reservoirs, shortage of power supply for tube-well irrigation further put strain on agricultural production. Although the immediate impact of drought is invariably on agriculture and the rural people, the industrial sector is not immune to it. A poor monsoon leads to fall in agriculture production thus causing a shortage of raw materials specially for the agro-based industries; reduction in rural demand for industrial goods due to fall in income; increase in expenditure on food due to shortage and rise in prices thereby forcing the consumers to reduce spending on even articles of every day requirement. Since a large amount of money has to be diverted towards relief measures for drought victims, it leads to decline in investment in public sector and other development projects. It is altogether another matter that money allocated for relief measures hardly ever reaches the people it is meant for.

In the past, major droughts have been followed by recession in the industry. Industries like fertilizers, pesticides, farm machinery play a very significant role in modernizing agriculture. But fluctuations in agricultural production due to drought or floods adversely affect the demand for the goods produced by these units. However, over the years there has been a decline in the share of agriculture in the national income. Consequently there has been a decline in the adverse effect of fall in agricultural income on industrial sector. Although the adverse impact of drought on industrial production cannot be avoided altogether, the economy has become resilient enough to bear the setbacks like this.

Nevertheless, the plight of the common man really becomes pathetic due to increase in prices as a result of shortage in the supply of food and non-food commodities. Lower middle class, salaried class and the unskilled workers are worst affected. Small businessmen do not let this opportunity go to create artificial shortages and sell the articles in the black market. The harassed consumer is left with no choice but to pay the price. Since the income of the people does not increase in proportion to the rise in inflationary trends, there is a fall in the savings, as people have to spend more to procure articles of daily necessity. Those employed in government and semi-government jobs get some relief in the form of dearness allowance, but the self employed and the workers in the private sector do not get such financial relief to offset the increase in prices.

The plight of the rural people, more particularly of the small and marginal farmers is really pitiable. Drought causes severe dislocation of everyday life. Whatever meager resources they have are soon exhausted on meeting daily expenses. In States such as Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra, where rains failed successively for four years, not only did the agricultural production completely collapse, but the declining water table led to an acute shortage of drinking water as well. Hence, people had to face extremely difficult living conditions. Cattle started dying due to lack of fodder and water. In some areas, one even heard of people adopting extreme measures like selling their children or committing suicide.

The Government has adopted a number of measures to create additional avenues of employment and income, assure adequate supplies of essential commodities and drinking water, provide additional power to areas irrigated by tube-wells and pump-sets to boost rabi production, supply fodder for the cattle. Financial assistance is also extended by the banks on priority basis to persons affected by droughts to enable them to undertake a second sowing, raise an alternative short duration crop or grow much needed fodder for the cattle. Any programs are started to provide employment to the drought affected people. Essential commodities like food-grains, edible oils, controlled cloth, etc. are made available through public distribution system. Efforts are made to keep the prices of essential commodities under control.

In 1973, Drought Prone Area Programme was started as a long term measure for restoration of ecological balance and optimum utilization of land, water, live-stock and human resources and to mitigate effects of drought. It is being implemented in 615 blocks in 91 districts of 13 states from 1985-86 covering about 5.36 lakhs sq. km area. It covered about 7 to 7.5 crores people.

Almost 1/8th of India’s total area has been declared as flood prone. Three-phased – immediate, short-term and long–term – flood control programme was launched in 1954. Since then about Rs. 1,763 crores have been spent on flood control till the end of Sixth Plan. An outlay of Rs. 947 crores was approved for the Seventh Plan for this purpose. The flood control measures taken include construction of new embankments, drainage channels, town protection works and raising the level of low lying villages. In addition anti-sea erosion measures to protect the coastline have also been taken up. Government has also set up a flood forecasting organization to issue advance warnings about impending floods so as to alert rescue and relief agencies. In 1989, damage suffered on account of floods was about Rs. 2,380 crores.

However what is needed is a long term strategy to free agriculture from the uncertainties of weather. Droughts and floods will continue to cause agony and hardship to people. Even after 40 years of planned development, about 70% of total cropped area is still dependent on rainfall. To overcome this dependency, methods should be adopted for better water management. Research should be conducted on improving methods and techniques for the development of rain fed and dry land agriculture. Unless all these plans and programs are implemented in earnest, the droughts and floods will continue to play havoc with the life of the people.

– Bipasha Mukherjee.

Short Paragraph on The Indian Botanical Garden

The Indian Botanical Garden

The Indian botanical Garden at Sibpur, Howrah was established on 6th July, 1787 by Lt. Colonel Robert Kyd. It was originally called the Royal Botanic Garden. The garden, only of its kind in the country, has the largest collection of growing plants in Asia. There are more than 12,000 standing trees in the 273 acres of land. Among the trees, the cinchona, the mango and the banyan together with the mahogany and teak deserve special mention. Among the smaller plants in the garden there are varieties of flowering plants like the orchid and food plants.

The special attractions of the botanical garden are the two hundred year old banyan tree, the medicinal plant garden or the Charak Udyan and the Herbarium containing 1.3 million botanical specimens. At present, though the Botanical Garden entertains millions of tourists with its beauty and variety, its main objective is scientific research and development. In the past, however, the garden was used to produce subsidiary food, to serve commercial purposes and to be a source of wealth for the East India Company.

– Paridhi Khanna

Short Paragraph on Soil Erosion

Soil Erosion

The removal of the top soil by human and natural agents is termed soil erosion. Destruction of trees speed soil erosion. The poor maintenance of agricultural land and overgrazing of pastures enhance the rate of soil erosion. If a sloping land is ploughed the water runs down furrows. The natural drainage system is damaged and soil erosion is increased. The natural agents of erosion are overflowing rain-water, sun-rays and wind. The top soils on river beds are carried away by rivers and streams. Overflowing rain-water washes away mud and dust. Weak soil is also blown away by wind and damaged by sun-rays.

As a result of soil erosion millions of hectares of land have become unproductive and barren. The earth’s crust is decayed and fertility is lost. To prevent soil erosion steps must be taken to plant trees and protect forests. The agricultural land must be maintained properly and the drainage system must be improved. Moreover the pastures should be used in a restricted way. If we take these measures we can surely have a remedy for the damages already done by soil erosion.

– Paridhi Khanna

Short Paragraph on Earthquakes

Short Paragraph on Earthquakes

Any sudden movement of the earth due to a natural cause which produces a shaking is known as an earthquake. The chief cause of earthquakes is the sudden slipping of the portion of the earth’s crust past each other along fractures of faults. Another cause is volcano activity.

Minor causes of earthquake are sudden landslides, sub-marine slides and collapse of cavern roofs. The sudden shock sets up vibration in the earth and the vibrations take the form of waves within the earth. The focus of the earthquake is the place where these vibrations originate and the point on the earth’s surface which is vertically above the focus is called the epicenter. If the focus is nearer the earth’s surface the effects of the earthquake is greater. The vibrations or the tremors of the earthquake are measured by the Richter scale.

Earthquakes cause change in the earth’s surface. Sometimes in mountainous regions landslides are caused. Buildings collapse and several people are rendered homeless. Fire is another great danger. Railway lines are often bucked of twisted. Under-ground water system is naturally disturbed by earthquake.

It is a natural calamity and its effects are disastrous.

– Paridhi Khanna