Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge – Day 10

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QUESTIONS ASKED – DAY-10 (29/07/2013)

1) In the light of WGEEP report and HLWG report on Western Ghats, discuss the major recommendations and their implications – if implemented – on the stakeholders of the region.

2)“In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment.

RESPONSES:

  1. cppcontrol

     

    3 Votes

    In the light of WGEEP report and HLWG report on Western Ghats, discuss the major recommendations and their implications – if implemented – on the stakeholders of the region.

    Western Ghats ecology expert panel led by Dr. Madhav Gadgil in its report has said that the entire Western Ghats region should be declared a ecologically sensitive zone, three levels of categorization of the demarcated areas and blanket protection should be provided to preserve it. The High level working group led by Dr. K. Kasturirangan has endorsed the same sensitivity and has recommended to divide the western ghats into cultural and natural landscapes with total prohibition of development activities in the natural landscapes.

    Few major recommendations of these reports are
    • To incentivize green growth in Eastern Ghats. This can be done by managing forests and improving their productivity to ensure inclusive growth and sustainable development.
    • Initiating an ecosystem service fund to help villages around the forests.
    • Promoting sustainable agriculture and encouraging ecotourism.
    • Ban of land forests to promote industries, big dams, high station development and mining in ecological sensitive areas.
    • On the regulatory part, strict implementation of various environment related acts and impact assessment of individual small power projects.
    • Decentralized water resource management plans at local self government level and protect high altitude valley swamp and water bodies.

    These recommendations are must to be accepted to save the sensitive western ghats from exploitation of various interest business groups. This will led to a sustained development of the western ghats which has been one of the eight hotspots of biological diversity of UNESCO. The economic activities of the region would be regulated by governance mechanism which would empower local communities for conserving these eco sensitive zone.

  2.  

    5 Votes

    2)“In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment.
    Ans
    Sustainable development is a mode of human development which do not compromise with the social, natural and environmental cost. The concept gains importance in the light of fast depleting resources, threatened biodiversity and acceleration of urbanization and human needs.
    There has been a spurt in the process of urbanization in the past 2 decades because of increased industrial activities in major towns and cities which is percolating to other small towns as well. Migration of large chunk of population towards these towns for employment has led to sustainability crunch because of mushrooming of slums, non availability of low cost housing, sanitation, lack of infrastructure and public transport facility and absence of services like drinking water and electricity etc. All these factors have been overlooked by the government in search of growth and lack of awareness on the part of civil society organization. The ever increasing population with ever increasing demands for better services is poised to become a challenge to the growth of environmentally sustainable and productive cities. The lack of coordination on the part of the government, municipal corporations and CSO led to rise of unplanned development, unorganized growth and unfeasible infrastructure.
    The report published by UN ranking India’s metros as low on prosperous list hold testimony to the fact that despite tall claims by the government in the form of JNNURM , nothing substantial has been achieved. Most of the cities lack viable environment and absence of even threshold investment in areas which define the standard of living like services and inclusive growth.

    • Keerthi Narayan

       

      1 Vote

      You have rightly pointed out the problems of Indian urbanisation like lack of housing, sanitation, public transport, safe drinking water etc. However, I feel, your answer should, atleast say in the conclusion, whether you think urbanisation and sustainable development can go hand in hand or not. If yes or no, what are your reasons.

      •  

        2 Votes

        Thank you Keerthi for your valuable feedback. I will definitely try to answer your question.
        According to me, urbanization and sustainable development can and should go hand in hand and complement each other but that requires an organised and planned growth of cities. That requires proper mobilization of funds for long term prospect regarding infrastructure and high labour intensive industries should be established outside the main boundary of cities and towns in a special zones with better connectivity through roads etc. All these measures are absent in India for different reasons and mainly because of improper and under utilization of funds and deep slumber on the part of govt. Further every stakeholder including civil society must be a part of this development which is all inclusive.

      •  

        1 Vote

        Looking into your answer, i think i should have incorporated the measure which should be taken to bring about harmonization in sustainability and urban development. You have provided great insights like setting up sewage treatment plants, recycling and reusing waste products , creating renewable sources of energy etc. Thank you again.

  3. Asha Goud

     

    2 Votes

    Q In the light of WGEEP report and HLWG report on Western Ghats, discuss the major recommendations and their implications – if implemented – on the stakeholders of the region.

    A: Western Ghats is an ecologically and biologically diverse region spread in six states. It covers an area of approximately 100,000 sq km. With the ever growing demand of land and resources the Western Ghats have attracted attention of industries.

    The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) headed by ecologist Madhav Gadgil made a recommendation of declaring the whole Western Ghats as Eco-sensitve, divided into 3 levels with varying degree of restrictions on activities like mining, thermal and hydel power plants, industries, construction.

    On the other hand a High Level Expert Group (HLEG) headed by Space Scientist K. Kasturiranjan recommended that only 37% of the Ghats should be declared eco-sensitive. What the HLEG highlighted is that along with the natural landscapes the ghats consist of cultural landscapes inhabited by people. Therefore HLEG recommended adopting a balanced approach keeping in mind the development needs of the people living in the Ghats. Therefore opening a window of possibility for industries. However Panel recommended encouraging Green development in remaining region.

    The WGEEP on the other hand viewed the entire region as an single ecosystem. Disturbing the ecosystem at one place will disturb the balance of the entire region. The recent floods in Uttarakhand are an example.
    Highly destructive activities like mining, construction, industries, power plants will only destabilize the region and will infact adversely affect the people. These industries might provide them employment, but it will also attract migrant workers. Mining and Construction will cause large scale deforestation, leading to loss of wildlife. These changes will only increase pressure on the fragile ecosystem making it vulnerable to a collapse.

    The Western Ghats are known worldwide as a Biodiversity Hot spot and therefore it needs to be conserved and not exploited.

    • Keerthi Narayan

       

      1 Vote

      If the WGEEP recommendations are implemented, what are all the implications for the stakeholders?

      Asha Goud

       

      Rate This Response!

      I am more in the favour of implementing the WGEEP recommendations that has a focus on conserving the region, therefore I presented the negative impact the implementation HLEG recommendations can have on the region.

  4. Asha Goud

     

    2 Votes

    Q “In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment.

    A The process of urbanisation is the increase in size and number of cities and urban population. Sustainable development is concept of ensuring development that does not adversely impact the surrounding environment.
    Phenomena of urbanization have been experienced by western countries in the past and at present South Asian countries are experiencing urbanization on a large scale.

    In India the population pressure is immense as a result urbanization is occurring at a very fast pace. As population is increasing people are moving out of villages towards cities in search of livelihood, in fact villages are also getting converted into small towns. Cities are growing in size and the surrounding agricultural land or forest land is cleared for habitation or industries. Wherever land is not available vertical growth is seen like in cities like Delhi, Mumbai.

    This rapid change in land use increases pressure on the surrounding environment. Pollution level in rivers increases, deforestation leads to loss of valuable vegetation, wildlife, industries lead to soil, water and air pollution levels increases. As a result of rapid urbanization pressure increases on existing facilities like roads, transportation, sewerage, water, electricity as a result slums emerge in the cities.

    However it needs to be noted that the clash between urbanization and sustainable development is not inherent, it arises due to rapid and unplanned development.

    • Keerthi Narayan

       

      1 Vote

      In the end you have mentioned that urbanisation and sustainable development are not inherently incompatible. Good.It would have been a very good answer if you could say what are all the measures to be taken for such conflicting models to be made compatible,

      • Asha Goud

         

        1 Vote

        Hi keerthi, I did not mention the measures as the question asked a comment on the statement. So i simply presented my view whether the two are antithetical or not. But i think mentioning a few measures like efficient waste disposal management, public transport system, demarking green areas in city, keeping hazardous industries away and many more would have gained me few extra points. :)
        Thanks.

  5. NITISH K

     

    4 Votes

    1) In the light of WGEEP report and HLWG report on Western Ghats, discuss the major recommendations and their implications – if implemented – on the stakeholders of the region.

    Ans:The conservation of one of the richest biodiversity hotstops of the world promted Ministry of Environment and forests[MOEF] to constitute Madav gadgil headed panel -WGEEP.The main recommendations include-

    * entire western ghats to be ecologically sensitive zone(ESZ) with highly sensitive ESZ 1 forming 60% of the area.
    * participation of local communities in environmental protection
    * complete moratorium on new mining licenses in ESZ1 and ESZ 2.In zone 1 all existing mines to be phased out and in zone 2 mining to be carried under strict regulation and social audit.
    * polluting industies,thermal power projects ,large scale dams not allowed in zone1 and 2.

    However in the wake of severe opposition to the radical recommendations of Gadgil committe by states and industries,new panel under Kasturirangan was formed.This panel reduced the ESZ to only 37% of the western ghats and did not oppose hydel power projects.Also it proposed financial incentives for promoting green growth in remaining 63% on non-ESZ regions.Also it didnot involve local communities in decision making reg environment conservation

    Major implications of Gadgil report if implemented:

    * For the first time in history ,local communities will play a leading part in protection ,which till now was the exclusive privilage of central and state bureaucracy heavy bodies
    * Banning of mining and polluting industries will protect delicate ecosystem
    * Social audit of all activities will ensure fruits of development will be shared by all.
    * prevent deforestation
    * lead to greater research on biodiversity and commerialization of the research rather than plundering minerals.i.e more value addition and less pollution
    * Minor employment loss due to prohibition of mining and industries

    Major implication of Kasturirangan report:

    * Big hydel projects will come which may lead to Uttarkand like scenario.
    * large scale deforestation
    * no role of local communities.
    * this unrestrained exploitation without benefits to local people may encourage extremism which is till now a latent force.

    2)“In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment.

    Ans:The rapid and unplanned urbanistion witnessed since 1990s has put enormous pressure on the ecosystem and rendered life difficult not only in urban areas but also in rural areas.

    Indian Urbanisation affects sustainable development adversely in the following manner:

    * Pollution:the explosion of vehicles has polluted the atmosphere.This affects not only the urban systems but also nearby rural areas.It also affects future generation as the pollutants remains in atmosphere for a long time.
    * Waste: The waste generated by various urban activities are dumped into rivers converting them in sewages,ex:Yamuna.These effluents creep underground and affect living being far and near.Also in many cities ,solid wastes are dumped into nearby villages which harm them.
    * Ground water depletion:Due to enormous population there is heavy demand for water.Due to this borewells are sunk in huge numbers.Every year the depth of bore wells goes on increasing and many past borewells have become redundant.This depletes the ground water and also forces people to drink water that is having dangerous fluorine.
    * Deforestation:the thirst for land has seen encroachment of forest lands and community lands and constant expansion of cities at the cost of neighbouring villages
    * Sustainable development requires optimum utilization of resoures.But due to rampant urbanisation there is lack of skilled manpower in rural areas to utilize the resources in the optimal way.The illiterate people with no information,due to poverty end up degrading the environment.

    Therefore sufficient opportunities must be developed in rural areas itself,so that pressure on urban areas is reduced and existing resources are utilized in the best possible way.Also the capacity of muncipal boards in dealing with these problems is poor.Therfore they have to be trained.Also the practice of appointing political loyalists to head state pollution control boards must be stopped.Greater role for civil society organisations must be given.Also best practices from around the world must be adopted

    • Keerthi Narayan

       

      1 Vote

      I loved the structure of your 1st answer. First, crisp mentioning of both reports’ recommendations followed by Implications. ( However, I felt a pro-Gadkil, anti-Kasturirangan tilt in your answer, it would have been so very good if you had said + and – of both Gadgil’s and Kasturi’s )

      In your second answer, you ve mentioned problems of urbanisation and how it affects sustainable development neatly. (thereby you indirectly imply urbanisation and sustainable development are not compatible) . However, your concluding para sounds little general, to me. (Nice way of inserting recent Hindu’ headlines- “Also the practice of appointing political loyalists to head state pollution control boards must be stopped”)

      • NITISH K

         

        2 Votes

        important points which I missed in 2nd answer:
        1. proliferation of slums:Slums are the causes and consequence of unsustainable urbanisation.
        2.lax implementation of rules and regulations:the norms for buildings like materials,number of floors ,spacing are brazenly flouted.The effect of these illegalities is seen in future say after 20-30 years.The acts of today harm the future occupants.
        3.nonutilization of renewable energy like solar ,biogas etc as well as disregard to rainwater harvesting and water reusing

  6. rahul aggarwal

     

    2 Votes

    2)sustainable development and urbanization.
    According to recent survey by WHO across G-20 economies showed that 13 out of 20 most polluted cities are in India,recent Uttrakhand disaster draws our attention towards encroachment on river banks are the few examples to show that there are serious loopholes in our strategy towards tackling and integrating the issues of sustainable development and urbanization.

    India being a developing country and still 60% of our population lives in rural areas,hence in coming years the urban population is bound to increase and would further deteriorate the environmental health of cities in the country if the problems are not identified and appropriate action not taken to tackle them.

    The major problems which urbanization in india is facing are as follows:

    a)Pollution level : Increase in number of vehicles,increse in mining,construction and industrial activities has resulted in increase in harmful gases and particulate matter in air which is responsible for increase in lung and various NCD.

    b)SANITATION:Open defecation is still a major problem even in cities. Morover lack of proper sewerage system ,drainage system is affecting the health of citizens especially the poor,slum dewellers and vulnerable groups.

    c)CHANGE IN LAND USE PATTERN:With ever expanding cities of India ,to accomodate ever increasing urban population the forest cover has reduced drastically ,encroachment on grasslands,water bodies has increased continuously.

    d)SOLID WASTE :Inefficient waste collection and treatment system is one of the biggest problems.According to estimates more than 30% waste is not collected and even the waste which is collected is not dumped properly,the open dumping sites are highly inappropriate.

    In addition to these above problems lack of proper landscape sites,scarcity of safe water to drink are some other problems faced by urban centres.

    There are solutions available to all these problems.Some of the major recommendations are:

    a)TO REDUCE AIR POLLUTIUON:Improving the public transport system would result in reduction in the private vehicles.Also properly implementing polluter pay principle would result in reduction of emission from factories and improve the air pollution situation.

    b)TO improve land use:Setting up a National Land Development Authority responsible for developing long term strategies for conservation of land is important.

    c)TO IMPROVE SANITATION:awareness generation is very important in regard.In addition community toilets could be encouraged where there is constraint of space.Also public toilets should be available everywhere and properly maintained.
    Various municipal boards should take active interest in improving the drainage system.

    d)To improve solid waste management:First of all 100% waste collection is important.It should be done in a completely covered van.
    The waste should be segregated in degradable and non-degradable.
    Efficient waste to energy conversion plants which donot pollute environment could be used.

    Inspite of these several limitations in our policies various recent initiatives by government,judiciary,media and NGOs promises to improve the situation in the long run.Some of these initiatives include Proposal Green toilets in trains,Nirmal Bharat yatra,setting of National Green Tribunals ,use of CNG in public transport,encouragement to electricity vehicles etc. They deserve appreciation and encouragement.

  7. Keerthi Narayan

     

    3 Votes

    The Western Ghats, one of the characteristic feature of India’s physiography, ranges from Kerala in the South to Gujarat in the north West. It spreads through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra besides Kerala and Gujarat. It is a rich source of floral and faunal biodiversity and primary source of riverine water for peninsular India.

    Recommendations:
    Alarmed at the growing rate of activities like mining and construction, the Ministry of Environment and Forests set up Western Ghats Ecological Expert Panel under the chairmanship of Prof.Madhav Gadgil in 2010. The panel came out with it report last year. Its salient recommendations include gradation of the western ghats area into 3 ecolologically sensitive zones each having separate restrictions for development activities. If the recommendations of the report would be implemented, there would be severe restrictions for development activities on about 70% of the area of the Western Ghats. The state Govts. voiced their dissent to the report and this led to the MoEF setting up a High Level Expert group on the chairmanship of Kasturirangan to study the WGEEP report in a ‘holistic’ way.

    The HLWG used remote sensing data with the help of ISRO and classified the area under Western Ghats into natural landscapes and cultural landscapes. According to HLWG’s recommendations, there will be restrictions on developmental activities on 37% of western ghats’ area. This includes complete ban on new mining and phasing out of existing mining in 5 years, ban for new thermal projects, ‘red’ category industries and severe restrictions on large scale construction activities. However, the HLWG has not clearly said anything about the remaining 90000 sq.km area under cultural landscapes.

    Implications:

    The grid size used by WGEEP is 9km x 9km, 81sq.km, which is the taluk area. Prof.Madhav Gadgil himself admitted that this was the data available with the panel and the grid size can be refined. This large grid size results in an entire taluk being marked as ecologically sensitive even when only a panchayat unit area is actually so. Institutions like Kerala Forest research Institute suggest that using panchayat as tha base unit will clear a lot of area from being marked as ecologically sensitive.

    Small states like Kerala and Goa already have very few land spaces free of regulations. Being sandwiched between the sea and the hills, these states have restrictions on land use like coastal regulation norms. It is necessary that such states are given a fair chance for developmental activities.

    At the same time, in Goa, Karnataka rampant mining has led to substantial losses to natural habitat and pristine ecosystems. Hence, the Govt has to take a stand considering both sides of the issue into account. A blanket ban or a clear approval to consrtuctions in the name of development, both will be detrimental to the people’s livelihood.

    2. Sustainable development is the use of available resources for a society’s development and well being, without depleting it for the use of future generations. Urbanisation is the phenomenon of increase in the size and population of areas having urban characteristics, i.e. areas dominated by non-agricultural, non-primary economic activities. Generally, urbanisation involves consumption of resources to provide for the existence of growing populace and hence is considered as a non-compatible activity to sustainable development.

    Indian Context:
    India is a rapidly urbanising country. The census 2011 indicates increasing rate of urban population. India’s urbanisation has so far followed only the consumption model. This means that those cities which developed as a result of urbanisation in the last 20 years have only consumed resources and discarded the end products. Reuse, Recycle, Renewable energy, Replenishment of used resources have not been followed during this urbanisation phase.

    Cities and towns are densely populated and hence face crunch in basic resources like land, water, trees and also face problems of solid waste disposal, sewerage and sanitation. Such current consumption model is clearly unsustainable.

    Hence, to urbanise positively and grow in a sustainable way, the cities and towns should plan the following:

    1. Use of Renewable energy resources for small utilities like solar heating, solar power for homes
    2. Rain water harvesting to replenish the depleted ground water.
    3. Reuse and recycle when it comes to solid wastes like plastics, wood and ceramics
    4. Rational land use
    5. Sewage treatment plants to reuse the wastewater

    Hence, in the present Indian context, Urbanisation is not compatible with sustainable development.

    • Kirthi

       

      Rate This Response!

      You gave wonderful points but as cini has commented, there is a need to shorten the answers I guess.

  8. Sreekanth Soman

     

    2 Votes

    1. The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) headed by Madhav Gadgil was appointed by Ministry of Environment and Forests ( MoE&F) to suggest measures for conservation of Western Ghats. Due to the controversies surrounding the recommendations of the panel, another High Level Expert Group (HLEG) headed by Kasturirangan was asked to the look into the report of the WGEEP. Major recommendations of WGEEP were :-
    1) Creation of three ecologically sensitive zones in the Western Ghats apart from the present protected areas. It recommended complete ban on destructive economic activities including mining in ESZ1 with progressive relaxation of control measures in the other zones.
    2) Not to proceed with the Athirapally and Gundia hydro electric power projects as these would submerge highly biodiverse areas of endemic species like Malabar Hornbill.
    3) A supervisory body of experts to ensure implementation of conservation measures, Western Ghats Ecology authority.
    4) Ban on introduction and even field trials of Gentically Modified crops.

    The WGEEP highlights the destruction to the environment and biodiversity caused due to the developmental activities like mining, tea and coffee plantations, unsustainable agricultural practices etc. It advocated strict implementation of its recommendations to prevent further damages. These recommendations were not received positively by any of the state governments in the region. Protests by local people, encouraged by politicians and religious leaders, who thought their livelihood options would be affected happened. Due to considerable opposition from all quarters, the MoE&F appointed the Kasturirangan panel, which submitted a report that reduced protection to only 37% of Western Ghats which it considered as natural landscape and did not recommend any ban on the hydroelectric power projects.

    This controversy raises the all important question of sustainable development. Though the local people as well as the states may benefit by employment opportunities due to mining, quarrying and deforestation, it should be remembered that long term livelihood and quality of life would be severely affected by the damage caused to the land, water and air in the Western Ghats apart from loss of highly endemic species.

    2. Urbanization is an essential feature of modern life. As man progresses, growth of cities and towns take place naturally to accommodate the growing needs of economic development. It is to ensured that this urbanization happens in a sustainable way.

    In India, most cities grow in an unplanned way, utilizing the resources in an inefficient manner. Construction of buildings happen violating the norms required for security and transport. Proper management of water supply and sewerage, solid waste disposal, maintenance of roads etc. are not able to keep pace with the needs of the people. Pollution of all possible natural resources take place in our cities. Slums and squalor have become a dominant feature of Indian cities. We find posh localiites with all amenities beside the poor slums. Rehabilitation of slums have been talked about for many decades, but still no improvment in their conditions. No concern shown to the lives of the poor who are displaced mercilessly to make way for “development”.

    Most of Indian cities are notorious for high pollution levels and lack of public sanitation facilities. Environment and human rights are not on the priority list of the authorities, where corruption is rampant. So it can be rightly said that urbanization and sustainable development are antithetical to each other in the Indian context.

  9. Cini

     

    4 Votes

    1) In the light of WGEEP report and HLWG report on Western Ghats, discuss the major recommendations and their implications – if implemented – on the stakeholders of the region.

    Western Ghats is one of the eight biodiversity hotspots in India and a major supplier and drainage of the peninsular river system. The Western Ghat Ecology Expert Panel headed by ecologist Madhav Gadgil and the subsequent High Level Working Group headed by economist Dr. Kasturirangan were formed to stop the degradation of the ecology of the ghats.
    The WGEEP proposed a blanket ban on mining, hydel projects and invasive developmental activities in 3/4th of the ghat area, proposing the area to be declared Ecologically Sensitive Area under a regulatory authority that could override central and state governments. This report was opposed by the inhabitants of the ghats and by political parties as being unviable and hence the HLWG was formed. It bans mining and other activities in only the core areas, phases out existing mines and asks for stricter clearances for hydel projects. The WGEEP was prepared to limit the damage caused by man to the environment by keeping them out completely, the HLWG takes a far more practical approach by not snatching the livelihood of the inhabitants (tourism in national parks, forest produce or hill towns like Lavasa) and providing a chance for peaceful coexistence of nature and man.

    2)“In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment.

    An estimated 1/3rd of Indian population lives in urban areas. Good infrastructure, better facilities, opportunities and a higher standard of life are the pull factor of urban areas. In this age of consumerism and global warming; in a bid to gather more resources a lot of harm is being done to the environment.
    India has witnessed a steady urbanization – chaotic and unplanned cities not adhering to city masterplans, vertical growth of structures (Mumbai, Delhi) which puts a burden on resources like water, electricity and sanitation facilities. The rampant misuse of these resources and their wastage are problems affecting urban areas in India. The resultant has been; falling groundwater levels, creation of ghettos, glaring inequality/class divides and rising pollution levels across cities. Recent disasters like the Uttarakhand floods are an example of lack of future planning keeping in mind the environment. The lack of proper implementation of urban policies has resulted in unregulated growth opposite to the demands of sustainable development. In comparison global high density cities like Manhattan, New York, Singapore city have adopted sustainable methods like rainwater harvesting, increased use of public transport and subsidies green fuels to combat increased urbanisation.

  10. Kirthi

     

    2 Votes

    In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment

    Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of present generator with out comprising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, central to this is inter generational equity. Urbanization is an inevitable phenomena after industrial revolution, attracting people and have become engines of economic growth.

    Rapid urbanization increases ecological footprint, creates pressure on land use, challenges to manage green cover, waste management, increased pollution, emissions, polluted ground water, fuel use etc.

    Indian cities are rated mediocre in UN habitat city prosperity index that include quality of life, infrastructure, environmental sustainability, equitable development.

    Indian cities dump mos of waste in suburbs where as in Germany Copenhagen etc resuly in only 4 percent waste as landfill. Singapore has 50 percent surface area green cover. Japan piping system ensures grey water is reused.

    Therefore, good efforts have been made by others to reduce ecological foot print of cities and make them sustainable.
    Census 2011 shows tht last decade more people added to urban than rural areas. India faces an opportunity to grow its cities sustainably as rapid urbanization is on the way.

    Some measures include
    – non motorized transport, separate cycling lanes
    – metro with good feeder network
    – incentives to use public transport
    – disincentivize polluting activities, pvt transport
    – solar or Led lamps in place of low efficient sodium or mercury lamps
    – reuse grey water, rain water harvesting, recycle waste
    – increase fuel efficiency and promote Research
    – mandatory energy conservation buildings code
    – effectively implement PURA

    Though inherently urbanization and sustainable development look antithetical , focused effort can better the situation as some metropolitans across the world show.

  11. Kirthi

     

    Rate This Response!

    Very true. I realized after looking others answers. Have to practice condensing points.

  12. Anjali Motghare

     

    3 Votes

    2)“In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment.
    I agree with the statement on the following reasons:
    Sustainable development has a broader meaning
    * Improving the quality of human life without exceeding the carrying capacity of nature;
    * Economic growth that provides fairness and opportunity for all the people, not just few at the cost of all.
    * Its a economic and social development that protect and enhance the natural environment.
    In Indian urbanisation is a growing phenomenon and is expected to rise to 57 per cent by 2025. But uncontrolled and unplanned expansion of towns and cities with large population has overwhelmed transport, communication, water supply, sanitation and energy system resulting
    in a growth of urban poor and unemployed population with precarious health problems.Most of our metro cities have crossed the permissible pollution level which is having ill effects on health of the people.
    Cities often have become dump yards of garbage and industrial waste.Untreated waste has given rise to environmental problem like air and water pollution Most of the times waste directed in river and because of that we are having most sacred river dangerously contaminated. Which is having serious repercussions on the aquatic life as well as downstream human settlement.Unplanned cities led to development of slums. Our financial capital Mumbai gave birth to Asia’s largest slum Dharavi. In terms of our capital’s pollution Supreme Court had to intervened from
    time to time to save people in terms of air pollution. Recently it had to guide on mobile tower placement.
    Urbanization is a necessary condition for development but it should not be at the cost of environment because finally nature wins. We have experienced tsunami in 2005, and this year Uttarakhand flood.
    As humans are destroyers so we can act as a preserver too by taking necessary steps, strict implementation of framed laws will be a welcome step.

  13. K Partha

     

    1 Vote

    1)The WGEEP (Gadgil Committee) was formed with the objective of studying the environmental and ecological issues related to Western Ghats. Gadgil committee recommended dividing Western Ghats into 3 different types of ecologically sensitive zones (Zone 1 being the most sensitive) and formation of Western Ghats Ecology Authority (WGEA). WGEA would have jurisdiction in six states (Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Maharastra,Tamil Nadu, Gujarat).

    According to the Report all mining activities should be phased out in Zone 1 within the next five yrs while existing mines in Zone 2 and Zone 3 should be put under strict regulation and social audit. No new license to be given for zone 1 and zone 2 while license can be given for zone 3 areas only for minerals not available in plains. Similarly the report called for a strict ban on polluting industries in Zone 1 and 2 if the industries aren’t able to switch to zero pollution technology within 5 yrs. All new industries in Zone 3 should be put under strict regulation and social audit.

    Further reasonable restrictions have been put on the size/scale of river projects in different ESZ. (Athirappilly Project and Gundia Project will be affected).There shouldn’t be any power plant in Zone 1 and 2.No new railway lines or major roads in zone 1 and 2.Waste management, traffic management to be strictly regulated in the zones. Further the report has stressed upon community participation and grass roots involvement.

    A High-Level Working Group was formed to study the Gadgil report and accordingly advise the Govt. According to the panel around 37% of the total area defined as boundary of Western ghats is ecologically sensitive. There needs to be a prohibitory regime on those activities with maximum interventionist and destructive impact on the environment. So here it makes a departure from the Gadgil report which can be wrongly used to continue with the exploitation.
    Further the report stresses upon inclusive development of local communities and green growth. The panel calls for the establishment of Decision Support and Monitoring Centre for Geospatial Analysis and Policy Support .But there is no suggestion related to WGEA.

    If the WGEEP report is implemented in letter and spirit then it would go a long way in preserving the biodiversity of the region and in maintaining the ecological balance in the region which has been subjected to rampant exploitation by mankind. It may lead to decrease in development activities (Mining and industries) but just development at the cost ecology can prove harmful in the longer run. It might help in curbing the illegal mining menace prevalent in the region. The suggestion for the formation of WGEA has not found support with the concerned state Govts. But the creation for a central authority is necessary for the uniform implementation of the suggestions given the vast expanse of the Western Ghats.

    The HLWG report seems to be a diluted form of WGEEP report. It leaves scope for wider manipulations. It might not be effective in preserving the biodiversity and ecological balance of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  14. NB

     

    1 Vote

    question 2

    Essence of sustainable development is conscious awareness that development activities have to take care of future generation needs in mind while fulfilling needs of current generation. Rapid Urbanization in India has developed unsustainable cities. It has lead to social , economic and environmental problems.These cities where people have migrated from rural area in search of job have created slums in absence of unavailability of housing. This in itself has generated many problems ranging from sanitation, clean drinking water to disposal of waste. Policy maker have not been able to develop blue print of development of cities. No proper spatial planning has been done, there is no balance in utilization of natural resources
    Gradually deforestation is being done to create more urban space. This has tremendously affected environment. Sprouting of Industries near urban center has also created problems. Further huge consumption of electricity, rapid rise of private transportation have further deteriorated environment. Air quality, water quality , food quality have all decreased. Problem is getting attenuated due to increase of consumerism, greediness and looking for temporary solutions to fix problem. Recent happenings in Uttrakhand after rain havoc is grim reminder of our development policies.If such development continues not only future generation will pay price but also present generation as well,
    Requirement is therefore for a systemic planned development, involvement of grass root people in development policies, balance utilization of natural resources, using more renewable resources, creating sustainable economically viable villages and having a deep awareness and attitude of conservation of resources among people.

  1. cppcontrol

     

    3 Votes

    In the light of WGEEP report and HLWG report on Western Ghats, discuss the major recommendations and their implications – if implemented – on the stakeholders of the region.

    Western Ghats ecology expert panel led by Dr. Madhav Gadgil in its report has said that the entire Western Ghats region should be declared a ecologically sensitive zone, three levels of categorization of the demarcated areas and blanket protection should be provided to preserve it. The High level working group led by Dr. K. Kasturirangan has endorsed the same sensitivity and has recommended to divide the western ghats into cultural and natural landscapes with total prohibition of development activities in the natural landscapes.

    Few major recommendations of these reports are
    • To incentivize green growth in Eastern Ghats. This can be done by managing forests and improving their productivity to ensure inclusive growth and sustainable development.
    • Initiating an ecosystem service fund to help villages around the forests.
    • Promoting sustainable agriculture and encouraging ecotourism.
    • Ban of land forests to promote industries, big dams, high station development and mining in ecological sensitive areas.
    • On the regulatory part, strict implementation of various environment related acts and impact assessment of individual small power projects.
    • Decentralized water resource management plans at local self government level and protect high altitude valley swamp and water bodies.

    These recommendations are must to be accepted to save the sensitive western ghats from exploitation of various interest business groups. This will led to a sustained development of the western ghats which has been one of the eight hotspots of biological diversity of UNESCO. The economic activities of the region would be regulated by governance mechanism which would empower local communities for conserving these eco sensitive zone.

  2.  

    4 Votes

    2)“In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment.
    Ans
    Sustainable development is a mode of human development which do not compromise with the social, natural and environmental cost. The concept gains importance in the light of fast depleting resources, threatened biodiversity and acceleration of urbanization and human needs.
    There has been a spurt in the process of urbanization in the past 2 decades because of increased industrial activities in major towns and cities which is percolating to other small towns as well. Migration of large chunk of population towards these towns for employment has led to sustainability crunch because of mushrooming of slums, non availability of low cost housing, sanitation, lack of infrastructure and public transport facility and absence of services like drinking water and electricity etc. All these factors have been overlooked by the government in search of growth and lack of awareness on the part of civil society organization. The ever increasing population with ever increasing demands for better services is poised to become a challenge to the growth of environmentally sustainable and productive cities. The lack of coordination on the part of the government, municipal corporations and CSO led to rise of unplanned development, unorganized growth and unfeasible infrastructure.
    The report published by UN ranking India’s metros as low on prosperous list hold testimony to the fact that despite tall claims by the government in the form of JNNURM , nothing substantial has been achieved. Most of the cities lack viable environment and absence of even threshold investment in areas which define the standard of living like services and inclusive growth.

    • Keerthi Narayan

       

      Rate This Response!

      You have rightly pointed out the problems of Indian urbanisation like lack of housing, sanitation, public transport, safe drinking water etc. However, I feel, your answer should, atleast say in the conclusion, whether you think urbanisation and sustainable development can go hand in hand or not. If yes or no, what are your reasons.

      •  

        1 Vote

        Thank you Keerthi for your valuable feedback. I will definitely try to answer your question.
        According to me, urbanization and sustainable development can and should go hand in hand and complement each other but that requires an organised and planned growth of cities. That requires proper mobilization of funds for long term prospect regarding infrastructure and high labour intensive industries should be established outside the main boundary of cities and towns in a special zones with better connectivity through roads etc. All these measures are absent in India for different reasons and mainly because of improper and under utilization of funds and deep slumber on the part of govt. Further every stakeholder including civil society must be a part of this development which is all inclusive.

      •  

        Rate This Response!

        Looking into your answer, i think i should have incorporated the measure which should be taken to bring about harmonization in sustainability and urban development. You have provided great insights like setting up sewage treatment plants, recycling and reusing waste products , creating renewable sources of energy etc. Thank you again.

  3. Asha Goud

     

    1 Vote

    Q In the light of WGEEP report and HLWG report on Western Ghats, discuss the major recommendations and their implications – if implemented – on the stakeholders of the region.

    A: Western Ghats is an ecologically and biologically diverse region spread in six states. It covers an area of approximately 100,000 sq km. With the ever growing demand of land and resources the Western Ghats have attracted attention of industries.

    The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) headed by ecologist Madhav Gadgil made a recommendation of declaring the whole Western Ghats as Eco-sensitve, divided into 3 levels with varying degree of restrictions on activities like mining, thermal and hydel power plants, industries, construction.

    On the other hand a High Level Expert Group (HLEG) headed by Space Scientist K. Kasturiranjan recommended that only 37% of the Ghats should be declared eco-sensitive. What the HLEG highlighted is that along with the natural landscapes the ghats consist of cultural landscapes inhabited by people. Therefore HLEG recommended adopting a balanced approach keeping in mind the development needs of the people living in the Ghats. Therefore opening a window of possibility for industries. However Panel recommended encouraging Green development in remaining region.

    The WGEEP on the other hand viewed the entire region as an single ecosystem. Disturbing the ecosystem at one place will disturb the balance of the entire region. The recent floods in Uttarakhand are an example.
    Highly destructive activities like mining, construction, industries, power plants will only destabilize the region and will infact adversely affect the people. These industries might provide them employment, but it will also attract migrant workers. Mining and Construction will cause large scale deforestation, leading to loss of wildlife. These changes will only increase pressure on the fragile ecosystem making it vulnerable to a collapse.

    The Western Ghats are known worldwide as a Biodiversity Hot spot and therefore it needs to be conserved and not exploited.

    • Keerthi Narayan

       

      1 Vote

      If the WGEEP recommendations are implemented, what are all the implications for the stakeholders?

  4. Asha Goud

     

    1 Vote

    Q “In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment.

    A The process of urbanisation is the increase in size and number of cities and urban population. Sustainable development is concept of ensuring development that does not adversely impact the surrounding environment.
    Phenomena of urbanization have been experienced by western countries in the past and at present South Asian countries are experiencing urbanization on a large scale.

    In India the population pressure is immense as a result urbanization is occurring at a very fast pace. As population is increasing people are moving out of villages towards cities in search of livelihood, in fact villages are also getting converted into small towns. Cities are growing in size and the surrounding agricultural land or forest land is cleared for habitation or industries. Wherever land is not available vertical growth is seen like in cities like Delhi, Mumbai.

    This rapid change in land use increases pressure on the surrounding environment. Pollution level in rivers increases, deforestation leads to loss of valuable vegetation, wildlife, industries lead to soil, water and air pollution levels increases. As a result of rapid urbanization pressure increases on existing facilities like roads, transportation, sewerage, water, electricity as a result slums emerge in the cities.

    However it needs to be noted that the clash between urbanization and sustainable development is not inherent, it arises due to rapid and unplanned development.

    • Keerthi Narayan

       

      1 Vote

      In the end you have mentioned that urbanisation and sustainable development are not inherently incompatible. Good.It would have been a very good answer if you could say what are all the measures to be taken for such conflicting models to be made compatible,

  5. NITISH K

     

    3 Votes

    1) In the light of WGEEP report and HLWG report on Western Ghats, discuss the major recommendations and their implications – if implemented – on the stakeholders of the region.

    Ans:The conservation of one of the richest biodiversity hotstops of the world promted Ministry of Environment and forests[MOEF] to constitute Madav gadgil headed panel -WGEEP.The main recommendations include-

    * entire western ghats to be ecologically sensitive zone(ESZ) with highly sensitive ESZ 1 forming 60% of the area.
    * participation of local communities in environmental protection
    * complete moratorium on new mining licenses in ESZ1 and ESZ 2.In zone 1 all existing mines to be phased out and in zone 2 mining to be carried under strict regulation and social audit.
    * polluting industies,thermal power projects ,large scale dams not allowed in zone1 and 2.

    However in the wake of severe opposition to the radical recommendations of Gadgil committe by states and industries,new panel under Kasturirangan was formed.This panel reduced the ESZ to only 37% of the western ghats and did not oppose hydel power projects.Also it proposed financial incentives for promoting green growth in remaining 63% on non-ESZ regions.Also it didnot involve local communities in decision making reg environment conservation

    Major implications of Gadgil report if implemented:

    * For the first time in history ,local communities will play a leading part in protection ,which till now was the exclusive privilage of central and state bureaucracy heavy bodies
    * Banning of mining and polluting industries will protect delicate ecosystem
    * Social audit of all activities will ensure fruits of development will be shared by all.
    * prevent deforestation
    * lead to greater research on biodiversity and commerialization of the research rather than plundering minerals.i.e more value addition and less pollution
    * Minor employment loss due to prohibition of mining and industries

    Major implication of Kasturirangan report:

    * Big hydel projects will come which may lead to Uttarkand like scenario.
    * large scale deforestation
    * no role of local communities.
    * this unrestrained exploitation without benefits to local people may encourage extremism which is till now a latent force.

    2)“In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment.

    Ans:The rapid and unplanned urbanistion witnessed since 1990s has put enormous pressure on the ecosystem and rendered life difficult not only in urban areas but also in rural areas.

    Indian Urbanisation affects sustainable development adversely in the following manner:

    * Pollution:the explosion of vehicles has polluted the atmosphere.This affects not only the urban systems but also nearby rural areas.It also affects future generation as the pollutants remains in atmosphere for a long time.
    * Waste: The waste generated by various urban activities are dumped into rivers converting them in sewages,ex:Yamuna.These effluents creep underground and affect living being far and near.Also in many cities ,solid wastes are dumped into nearby villages which harm them.
    * Ground water depletion:Due to enormous population there is heavy demand for water.Due to this borewells are sunk in huge numbers.Every year the depth of bore wells goes on increasing and many past borewells have become redundant.This depletes the ground water and also forces people to drink water that is having dangerous fluorine.
    * Deforestation:the thirst for land has seen encroachment of forest lands and community lands and constant expansion of cities at the cost of neighbouring villages
    * Sustainable development requires optimum utilization of resoures.But due to rampant urbanisation there is lack of skilled manpower in rural areas to utilize the resources in the optimal way.The illiterate people with no information,due to poverty end up degrading the environment.

    Therefore sufficient opportunities must be developed in rural areas itself,so that pressure on urban areas is reduced and existing resources are utilized in the best possible way.Also the capacity of muncipal boards in dealing with these problems is poor.Therfore they have to be trained.Also the practice of appointing political loyalists to head state pollution control boards must be stopped.Greater role for civil society organisations must be given.Also best practices from around the world must be adopted

    • Keerthi Narayan

       

      1 Vote

      I loved the structure of your 1st answer. First, crisp mentioning of both reports’ recommendations followed by Implications. ( However, I felt a pro-Gadkil, anti-Kasturirangan tilt in your answer, it would have been so very good if you had said + and – of both Gadgil’s and Kasturi’s )

      In your second answer, you ve mentioned problems of urbanisation and how it affects sustainable development neatly. (thereby you indirectly imply urbanisation and sustainable development are not compatible) . However, your concluding para sounds little general, to me. (Nice way of inserting recent Hindu’ headlines- “Also the practice of appointing political loyalists to head state pollution control boards must be stopped”)

      • NITISH K

         

        1 Vote

        important points which I missed in 2nd answer:
        1. proliferation of slums:Slums are the causes and consequence of unsustainable urbanisation.
        2.lax implementation of rules and regulations:the norms for buildings like materials,number of floors ,spacing are brazenly flouted.The effect of these illegalities is seen in future say after 20-30 years.The acts of today harm the future occupants.
        3.nonutilization of renewable energy like solar ,biogas etc as well as disregard to rainwater harvesting and water reusing

  6. rahul aggarwal

     

    1 Vote

    2)sustainable development and urbanization.
    According to recent survey by WHO across G-20 economies showed that 13 out of 20 most polluted cities are in India,recent Uttrakhand disaster draws our attention towards encroachment on river banks are the few examples to show that there are serious loopholes in our strategy towards tackling and integrating the issues of sustainable development and urbanization.

    India being a developing country and still 60% of our population lives in rural areas,hence in coming years the urban population is bound to increase and would further deteriorate the environmental health of cities in the country if the problems are not identified and appropriate action not taken to tackle them.

    The major problems which urbanization in india is facing are as follows:

    a)Pollution level : Increase in number of vehicles,increse in mining,construction and industrial activities has resulted in increase in harmful gases and particulate matter in air which is responsible for increase in lung and various NCD.

    b)SANITATION:Open defecation is still a major problem even in cities. Morover lack of proper sewerage system ,drainage system is affecting the health of citizens especially the poor,slum dewellers and vulnerable groups.

    c)CHANGE IN LAND USE PATTERN:With ever expanding cities of India ,to accomodate ever increasing urban population the forest cover has reduced drastically ,encroachment on grasslands,water bodies has increased continuously.

    d)SOLID WASTE :Inefficient waste collection and treatment system is one of the biggest problems.According to estimates more than 30% waste is not collected and even the waste which is collected is not dumped properly,the open dumping sites are highly inappropriate.

    In addition to these above problems lack of proper landscape sites,scarcity of safe water to drink are some other problems faced by urban centres.

    There are solutions available to all these problems.Some of the major recommendations are:

    a)TO REDUCE AIR POLLUTIUON:Improving the public transport system would result in reduction in the private vehicles.Also properly implementing polluter pay principle would result in reduction of emission from factories and improve the air pollution situation.

    b)TO improve land use:Setting up a National Land Development Authority responsible for developing long term strategies for conservation of land is important.

    c)TO IMPROVE SANITATION:awareness generation is very important in regard.In addition community toilets could be encouraged where there is constraint of space.Also public toilets should be available everywhere and properly maintained.
    Various municipal boards should take active interest in improving the drainage system.

    d)To improve solid waste management:First of all 100% waste collection is important.It should be done in a completely covered van.
    The waste should be segregated in degradable and non-degradable.
    Efficient waste to energy conversion plants which donot pollute environment could be used.

    Inspite of these several limitations in our policies various recent initiatives by government,judiciary,media and NGOs promises to improve the situation in the long run.Some of these initiatives include Proposal Green toilets in trains,Nirmal Bharat yatra,setting of National Green Tribunals ,use of CNG in public transport,encouragement to electricity vehicles etc. They deserve appreciation and encouragement.

  7. Keerthi Narayan

     

    3 Votes

    The Western Ghats, one of the characteristic feature of India’s physiography, ranges from Kerala in the South to Gujarat in the north West. It spreads through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra besides Kerala and Gujarat. It is a rich source of floral and faunal biodiversity and primary source of riverine water for peninsular India.

    Recommendations:
    Alarmed at the growing rate of activities like mining and construction, the Ministry of Environment and Forests set up Western Ghats Ecological Expert Panel under the chairmanship of Prof.Madhav Gadgil in 2010. The panel came out with it report last year. Its salient recommendations include gradation of the western ghats area into 3 ecolologically sensitive zones each having separate restrictions for development activities. If the recommendations of the report would be implemented, there would be severe restrictions for development activities on about 70% of the area of the Western Ghats. The state Govts. voiced their dissent to the report and this led to the MoEF setting up a High Level Expert group on the chairmanship of Kasturirangan to study the WGEEP report in a ‘holistic’ way.

    The HLWG used remote sensing data with the help of ISRO and classified the area under Western Ghats into natural landscapes and cultural landscapes. According to HLWG’s recommendations, there will be restrictions on developmental activities on 37% of western ghats’ area. This includes complete ban on new mining and phasing out of existing mining in 5 years, ban for new thermal projects, ‘red’ category industries and severe restrictions on large scale construction activities. However, the HLWG has not clearly said anything about the remaining 90000 sq.km area under cultural landscapes.

    Implications:

    The grid size used by WGEEP is 9km x 9km, 81sq.km, which is the taluk area. Prof.Madhav Gadgil himself admitted that this was the data available with the panel and the grid size can be refined. This large grid size results in an entire taluk being marked as ecologically sensitive even when only a panchayat unit area is actually so. Institutions like Kerala Forest research Institute suggest that using panchayat as tha base unit will clear a lot of area from being marked as ecologically sensitive.

    Small states like Kerala and Goa already have very few land spaces free of regulations. Being sandwiched between the sea and the hills, these states have restrictions on land use like coastal regulation norms. It is necessary that such states are given a fair chance for developmental activities.

    At the same time, in Goa, Karnataka rampant mining has led to substantial losses to natural habitat and pristine ecosystems. Hence, the Govt has to take a stand considering both sides of the issue into account. A blanket ban or a clear approval to consrtuctions in the name of development, both will be detrimental to the people’s livelihood.

    2. Sustainable development is the use of available resources for a society’s development and well being, without depleting it for the use of future generations. Urbanisation is the phenomenon of increase in the size and population of areas having urban characteristics, i.e. areas dominated by non-agricultural, non-primary economic activities. Generally, urbanisation involves consumption of resources to provide for the existence of growing populace and hence is considered as a non-compatible activity to sustainable development.

    Indian Context:
    India is a rapidly urbanising country. The census 2011 indicates increasing rate of urban population. India’s urbanisation has so far followed only the consumption model. This means that those cities which developed as a result of urbanisation in the last 20 years have only consumed resources and discarded the end products. Reuse, Recycle, Renewable energy, Replenishment of used resources have not been followed during this urbanisation phase.

    Cities and towns are densely populated and hence face crunch in basic resources like land, water, trees and also face problems of solid waste disposal, sewerage and sanitation. Such current consumption model is clearly unsustainable.

    Hence, to urbanise positively and grow in a sustainable way, the cities and towns should plan the following:

    1. Use of Renewable energy resources for small utilities like solar heating, solar power for homes
    2. Rain water harvesting to replenish the depleted ground water.
    3. Reuse and recycle when it comes to solid wastes like plastics, wood and ceramics
    4. Rational land use
    5. Sewage treatment plants to reuse the wastewater

    Hence, in the present Indian context, Urbanisation is not compatible with sustainable development.

    • Kirthi

       

      Rate This Response!

      You gave wonderful points but as cini has commented, there is a need to shorten the answers I guess.

  8. Sreekanth Soman

     

    2 Votes

    1. The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) headed by Madhav Gadgil was appointed by Ministry of Environment and Forests ( MoE&F) to suggest measures for conservation of Western Ghats. Due to the controversies surrounding the recommendations of the panel, another High Level Expert Group (HLEG) headed by Kasturirangan was asked to the look into the report of the WGEEP. Major recommendations of WGEEP were :-
    1) Creation of three ecologically sensitive zones in the Western Ghats apart from the present protected areas. It recommended complete ban on destructive economic activities including mining in ESZ1 with progressive relaxation of control measures in the other zones.
    2) Not to proceed with the Athirapally and Gundia hydro electric power projects as these would submerge highly biodiverse areas of endemic species like Malabar Hornbill.
    3) A supervisory body of experts to ensure implementation of conservation measures, Western Ghats Ecology authority.
    4) Ban on introduction and even field trials of Gentically Modified crops.

    The WGEEP highlights the destruction to the environment and biodiversity caused due to the developmental activities like mining, tea and coffee plantations, unsustainable agricultural practices etc. It advocated strict implementation of its recommendations to prevent further damages. These recommendations were not received positively by any of the state governments in the region. Protests by local people, encouraged by politicians and religious leaders, who thought their livelihood options would be affected happened. Due to considerable opposition from all quarters, the MoE&F appointed the Kasturirangan panel, which submitted a report that reduced protection to only 37% of Western Ghats which it considered as natural landscape and did not recommend any ban on the hydroelectric power projects.

    This controversy raises the all important question of sustainable development. Though the local people as well as the states may benefit by employment opportunities due to mining, quarrying and deforestation, it should be remembered that long term livelihood and quality of life would be severely affected by the damage caused to the land, water and air in the Western Ghats apart from loss of highly endemic species.

    2. Urbanization is an essential feature of modern life. As man progresses, growth of cities and towns take place naturally to accommodate the growing needs of economic development. It is to ensured that this urbanization happens in a sustainable way.

    In India, most cities grow in an unplanned way, utilizing the resources in an inefficient manner. Construction of buildings happen violating the norms required for security and transport. Proper management of water supply and sewerage, solid waste disposal, maintenance of roads etc. are not able to keep pace with the needs of the people. Pollution of all possible natural resources take place in our cities. Slums and squalor have become a dominant feature of Indian cities. We find posh localiites with all amenities beside the poor slums. Rehabilitation of slums have been talked about for many decades, but still no improvment in their conditions. No concern shown to the lives of the poor who are displaced mercilessly to make way for “development”.

    Most of Indian cities are notorious for high pollution levels and lack of public sanitation facilities. Environment and human rights are not on the priority list of the authorities, where corruption is rampant. So it can be rightly said that urbanization and sustainable development are antithetical to each other in the Indian context.

  9. Cini

     

    3 Votes

    1) In the light of WGEEP report and HLWG report on Western Ghats, discuss the major recommendations and their implications – if implemented – on the stakeholders of the region.

    Western Ghats is one of the eight biodiversity hotspots in India and a major supplier and drainage of the peninsular river system. The Western Ghat Ecology Expert Panel headed by ecologist Madhav Gadgil and the subsequent High Level Working Group headed by economist Dr. Kasturirangan were formed to stop the degradation of the ecology of the ghats.
    The WGEEP proposed a blanket ban on mining, hydel projects and invasive developmental activities in 3/4th of the ghat area, proposing the area to be declared Ecologically Sensitive Area under a regulatory authority that could override central and state governments. This report was opposed by the inhabitants of the ghats and by political parties as being unviable and hence the HLWG was formed. It bans mining and other activities in only the core areas, phases out existing mines and asks for stricter clearances for hydel projects. The WGEEP was prepared to limit the damage caused by man to the environment by keeping them out completely, the HLWG takes a far more practical approach by not snatching the livelihood of the inhabitants (tourism in national parks, forest produce or hill towns like Lavasa) and providing a chance for peaceful coexistence of nature and man.

    2)“In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment.

    An estimated 1/3rd of Indian population lives in urban areas. Good infrastructure, better facilities, opportunities and a higher standard of life are the pull factor of urban areas. In this age of consumerism and global warming; in a bid to gather more resources a lot of harm is being done to the environment.
    India has witnessed a steady urbanization – chaotic and unplanned cities not adhering to city masterplans, vertical growth of structures (Mumbai, Delhi) which puts a burden on resources like water, electricity and sanitation facilities. The rampant misuse of these resources and their wastage are problems affecting urban areas in India. The resultant has been; falling groundwater levels, creation of ghettos, glaring inequality/class divides and rising pollution levels across cities. Recent disasters like the Uttarakhand floods are an example of lack of future planning keeping in mind the environment. The lack of proper implementation of urban policies has resulted in unregulated growth opposite to the demands of sustainable development. In comparison global high density cities like Manhattan, New York, Singapore city have adopted sustainable methods like rainwater harvesting, increased use of public transport and subsidies green fuels to combat increased urbanisation.

  10. Kirthi

     

    1 Vote

    In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment

    Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of present generator with out comprising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, central to this is inter generational equity. Urbanization is an inevitable phenomena after industrial revolution, attracting people and have become engines of economic growth.

    Rapid urbanization increases ecological footprint, creates pressure on land use, challenges to manage green cover, waste management, increased pollution, emissions, polluted ground water, fuel use etc.

    Indian cities are rated mediocre in UN habitat city prosperity index that include quality of life, infrastructure, environmental sustainability, equitable development.

    Indian cities dump mos of waste in suburbs where as in Germany Copenhagen etc resuly in only 4 percent waste as landfill. Singapore has 50 percent surface area green cover. Japan piping system ensures grey water is reused.

    Therefore, good efforts have been made by others to reduce ecological foot print of cities and make them sustainable.
    Census 2011 shows tht last decade more people added to urban than rural areas. India faces an opportunity to grow its cities sustainably as rapid urbanization is on the way.

    Some measures include
    – non motorized transport, separate cycling lanes
    – metro with good feeder network
    – incentives to use public transport
    – disincentivize polluting activities, pvt transport
    – solar or Led lamps in place of low efficient sodium or mercury lamps
    – reuse grey water, rain water harvesting, recycle waste
    – increase fuel efficiency and promote Research
    – mandatory energy conservation buildings code
    – effectively implement PURA

    Though inherently urbanization and sustainable development look antithetical , focused effort can better the situation as some metropolitans across the world show.

  11. Kirthi

     

    Rate This Response!

    Very true. I realized after looking others answers. Have to practice condensing points.

  12. Anjali Motghare

     

    2 Votes

    2)“In the Indian context, sustainable development and urbanization are antithetical to each other”. Comment.
    I agree with the statement on the following reasons:
    Sustainable development has a broader meaning
    * Improving the quality of human life without exceeding the carrying capacity of nature;
    * Economic growth that provides fairness and opportunity for all the people, not just few at the cost of all.
    * Its a economic and social development that protect and enhance the natural environment.
    In Indian urbanisation is a growing phenomenon and is expected to rise to 57 per cent by 2025. But uncontrolled and unplanned expansion of towns and cities with large population has overwhelmed transport, communication, water supply, sanitation and energy system resulting
    in a growth of urban poor and unemployed population with precarious health problems.Most of our metro cities have crossed the permissible pollution level which is having ill effects on health of the people.
    Cities often have become dump yards of garbage and industrial waste.Untreated waste has given rise to environmental problem like air and water pollution Most of the times waste directed in river and because of that we are having most sacred river dangerously contaminated. Which is having serious repercussions on the aquatic life as well as downstream human settlement.Unplanned cities led to development of slums. Our financial capital Mumbai gave birth to Asia’s largest slum Dharavi. In terms of our capital’s pollution Supreme Court had to intervened from
    time to time to save people in terms of air pollution. Recently it had to guide on mobile tower placement.
    Urbanization is a necessary condition for development but it should not be at the cost of environment because finally nature wins. We have experienced tsunami in 2005, and this year Uttarakhand flood.
    As humans are destroyers so we can act as a preserver too by taking necessary steps, strict implementation of framed laws will be a welcome step.

  13. K Partha

     

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    1)The WGEEP (Gadgil Committee) was formed with the objective of studying the environmental and ecological issues related to Western Ghats. Gadgil committee recommended dividing Western Ghats into 3 different types of ecologically sensitive zones (Zone 1 being the most sensitive) and formation of Western Ghats Ecology Authority (WGEA). WGEA would have jurisdiction in six states (Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Maharastra,Tamil Nadu, Gujarat).

    According to the Report all mining activities should be phased out in Zone 1 within the next five yrs while existing mines in Zone 2 and Zone 3 should be put under strict regulation and social audit. No new license to be given for zone 1 and zone 2 while license can be given for zone 3 areas only for minerals not available in plains. Similarly the report called for a strict ban on polluting industries in Zone 1 and 2 if the industries aren’t able to switch to zero pollution technology within 5 yrs. All new industries in Zone 3 should be put under strict regulation and social audit.

    Further reasonable restrictions have been put on the size/scale of river projects in different ESZ. (Athirappilly Project and Gundia Project will be affected).There shouldn’t be any power plant in Zone 1 and 2.No new railway lines or major roads in zone 1 and 2.Waste management, traffic management to be strictly regulated in the zones. Further the report has stressed upon community participation and grass roots involvement.

    A High-Level Working Group was formed to study the Gadgil report and accordingly advise the Govt. According to the panel around 37% of the total area defined as boundary of Western ghats is ecologically sensitive. There needs to be a prohibitory regime on those activities with maximum interventionist and destructive impact on the environment. So here it makes a departure from the Gadgil report which can be wrongly used to continue with the exploitation.
    Further the report stresses upon inclusive development of local communities and green growth. The panel calls for the establishment of Decision Support and Monitoring Centre for Geospatial Analysis and Policy Support .But there is no suggestion related to WGEA.

    If the WGEEP report is implemented in letter and spirit then it would go a long way in preserving the biodiversity of the region and in maintaining the ecological balance in the region which has been subjected to rampant exploitation by mankind. It may lead to decrease in development activities (Mining and industries) but just development at the cost ecology can prove harmful in the longer run. It might help in curbing the illegal mining menace prevalent in the region. The suggestion for the formation of WGEA has not found support with the concerned state Govts. But the creation for a central authority is necessary for the uniform implementation of the suggestions given the vast expanse of the Western Ghats.

    The HLWG report seems to be a diluted form of WGEEP report. It leaves scope for wider manipulations. It might not be effective in preserving the biodiversity and ecological balance of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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    question 2

    Essence of sustainable development is conscious awareness that development activities have to take care of future generation needs in mind while fulfilling needs of current generation. Rapid Urbanization in India has developed unsustainable cities. It has lead to social , economic and environmental problems.These cities where people have migrated from rural area in search of job have created slums in absence of unavailability of housing. This in itself has generated many problems ranging from sanitation, clean drinking water to disposal of waste. Policy maker have not been able to develop blue print of development of cities. No proper spatial planning has been done, there is no balance in utilization of natural resources
    Gradually deforestation is being done to create more urban space. This has tremendously affected environment. Sprouting of Industries near urban center has also created problems. Further huge consumption of electricity, rapid rise of private transportation have further deteriorated environment. Air quality, water quality , food quality have all decreased. Problem is getting attenuated due to increase of consumerism, greediness and looking for temporary solutions to fix problem. Recent happenings in Uttrakhand after rain havoc is grim reminder of our development policies.If such development continues not only future generation will pay price but also present generation as well,
    Requirement is therefore for a systemic planned development, involvement of grass root people in development policies, balance utilization of natural resources, using more renewable resources, creating sustainable economically viable villages and having a deep awareness and attitude of conservation of resources among people.