NCERT Textbook - Environment and Society Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation

Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Environment and Society Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


 50 UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY
CHAPTER 3
ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
Look around you. What do you see? If
you are in a classroom, you may see
students in uniform, sitting on chairs
with books open on their desk.  There
are school bags with lunch and pencil
boxes.  Ceiling fans might be whirring
overhead.  Have you ever thought
about where these things — school
clothes, furniture, bags, electricity,
come from?  If you trace their origins,
you will find that the source of each
material object lies in nature.  Every
day, we use objects whose production
draws upon natural resources from
around the world.  The chair in your
classroom may be made from wood
with iron nails, glue and varnish.  Its
journey from a tree in a forest or
plantation to you depends on
electricity, diesel, facilities for trade,
and telecommunications.  Along the
way, it has passed through the hands
of loggers, carpenters, supervisors and
managers, transporters, traders and
those in charge of buying school
furniture.  These producers and
distributors, and the inputs that they
provide into chair manufacturing, in
turn use a variety of goods and
services derived from nature.  Try and
map these resource flows and you will
soon see how complex such
relationships are!
In this chapter, we will study social
relationships with the environment as
they have changed over time and as
they vary from place to place.  It is
important to analyse and interpret
such variations in a systematic way.
There are many urgent environmental
problems that demand our attention.
To address these crises effectively, we
need a sociological framework for
understanding why they occur and
how they might be prevented or
resolved.
All societies have an ecological
basis.  The term ecology denotes the
web of physical and biological systems
and processes of which humans are
one element.  Mountains and rivers,
plains and oceans, and the flora and
fauna that they support, are a part of
ecology.  The ecology of a place is also
affected by the interaction between its
geography and hydrology. For
example, the plant and animal life
unique to a desert is adapted to its
scarce rainfall, rocky or sandy soils,
and extreme temperatures. Similar
2019-20
Page 2


 50 UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY
CHAPTER 3
ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
Look around you. What do you see? If
you are in a classroom, you may see
students in uniform, sitting on chairs
with books open on their desk.  There
are school bags with lunch and pencil
boxes.  Ceiling fans might be whirring
overhead.  Have you ever thought
about where these things — school
clothes, furniture, bags, electricity,
come from?  If you trace their origins,
you will find that the source of each
material object lies in nature.  Every
day, we use objects whose production
draws upon natural resources from
around the world.  The chair in your
classroom may be made from wood
with iron nails, glue and varnish.  Its
journey from a tree in a forest or
plantation to you depends on
electricity, diesel, facilities for trade,
and telecommunications.  Along the
way, it has passed through the hands
of loggers, carpenters, supervisors and
managers, transporters, traders and
those in charge of buying school
furniture.  These producers and
distributors, and the inputs that they
provide into chair manufacturing, in
turn use a variety of goods and
services derived from nature.  Try and
map these resource flows and you will
soon see how complex such
relationships are!
In this chapter, we will study social
relationships with the environment as
they have changed over time and as
they vary from place to place.  It is
important to analyse and interpret
such variations in a systematic way.
There are many urgent environmental
problems that demand our attention.
To address these crises effectively, we
need a sociological framework for
understanding why they occur and
how they might be prevented or
resolved.
All societies have an ecological
basis.  The term ecology denotes the
web of physical and biological systems
and processes of which humans are
one element.  Mountains and rivers,
plains and oceans, and the flora and
fauna that they support, are a part of
ecology.  The ecology of a place is also
affected by the interaction between its
geography and hydrology. For
example, the plant and animal life
unique to a desert is adapted to its
scarce rainfall, rocky or sandy soils,
and extreme temperatures. Similar
2019-20
51 ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
ecological factors limit and shape how
human beings can live in any
particular place.
Over time, however, ecology has
been modified by human action.
What appears to be a natural feature
of the environment — aridity or flood-
proneness, for example, is often
produced by human intervention.
Deforestation in the upper catchment
of a river may make the river more
flood-prone.  Climate change brought
about by global warming is another
instance of the widespread impact of
human activity on nature.  Over time,
it is often difficult to separate and
distinguish between the natural and
human factors in ecological change.
Activity 1
Did you know that the Ridge forest
in Delhi is not the natural vegetation
of this region but was planted by the
British around 1915?  Its dominant
tree species is Prosopis juliflora
(vilayati kikar or vilayati babul) which
was introduced into India from South
America and which has become
naturalised all over north India.
Did you know that the chaurs,
the wide grassy meadows of Corbett
National Park in Uttarakhand which
offer excellent views of wildlife, were
once agricultural fields?  Villages in
the area were relocated in order to
create what now appears to be a
pristine wilderness.
Can you think of other
examples where what seems to be
‘natural’ is actually modified by
cultural interventions?
Alongside biophysical properties
and processes that may have been
transformed by human action — for
example, the flow of a river and the
species composition of a forest, there
are other ecological elements around
us that are more obviously human-
made. An agricultural farm with its
soil and water conservation works, its
cultivated plants and domesticated
animals, its inputs of synthetic
fertilisers and pesticides, is clearly a
human transformation of nature.  The
built environment of a city, made from
concrete, cement, brick, stone, glass
and tar, uses natural resources but is
very much a human artefact.
Social environments emerge from
the interaction between biophysical
ecology and human interventions.
This is a two-way process. Just as
nature shapes society, society shapes
nature. For instance, the fertile soil of
the Indo-Gangetic floodplain enables
intensive agriculture. Its high
productivity allows dense population
settlements and generates enough
surpluses to support other, non-
agricultural activities, giving rise to
complex hierarchical societies and
states. In contrast, the desert of
Rajasthan can only support
pastoralists who move from place to
place in order to keep their livestock
supplied with fodder.  These are
instances of ecology shaping the forms
of human life and culture. On the
other hand, the social organisation of
capitalism has shaped nature across
the world. The private automobile is
one instance of a capitalist commodity
2019-20
Page 3


 50 UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY
CHAPTER 3
ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
Look around you. What do you see? If
you are in a classroom, you may see
students in uniform, sitting on chairs
with books open on their desk.  There
are school bags with lunch and pencil
boxes.  Ceiling fans might be whirring
overhead.  Have you ever thought
about where these things — school
clothes, furniture, bags, electricity,
come from?  If you trace their origins,
you will find that the source of each
material object lies in nature.  Every
day, we use objects whose production
draws upon natural resources from
around the world.  The chair in your
classroom may be made from wood
with iron nails, glue and varnish.  Its
journey from a tree in a forest or
plantation to you depends on
electricity, diesel, facilities for trade,
and telecommunications.  Along the
way, it has passed through the hands
of loggers, carpenters, supervisors and
managers, transporters, traders and
those in charge of buying school
furniture.  These producers and
distributors, and the inputs that they
provide into chair manufacturing, in
turn use a variety of goods and
services derived from nature.  Try and
map these resource flows and you will
soon see how complex such
relationships are!
In this chapter, we will study social
relationships with the environment as
they have changed over time and as
they vary from place to place.  It is
important to analyse and interpret
such variations in a systematic way.
There are many urgent environmental
problems that demand our attention.
To address these crises effectively, we
need a sociological framework for
understanding why they occur and
how they might be prevented or
resolved.
All societies have an ecological
basis.  The term ecology denotes the
web of physical and biological systems
and processes of which humans are
one element.  Mountains and rivers,
plains and oceans, and the flora and
fauna that they support, are a part of
ecology.  The ecology of a place is also
affected by the interaction between its
geography and hydrology. For
example, the plant and animal life
unique to a desert is adapted to its
scarce rainfall, rocky or sandy soils,
and extreme temperatures. Similar
2019-20
51 ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
ecological factors limit and shape how
human beings can live in any
particular place.
Over time, however, ecology has
been modified by human action.
What appears to be a natural feature
of the environment — aridity or flood-
proneness, for example, is often
produced by human intervention.
Deforestation in the upper catchment
of a river may make the river more
flood-prone.  Climate change brought
about by global warming is another
instance of the widespread impact of
human activity on nature.  Over time,
it is often difficult to separate and
distinguish between the natural and
human factors in ecological change.
Activity 1
Did you know that the Ridge forest
in Delhi is not the natural vegetation
of this region but was planted by the
British around 1915?  Its dominant
tree species is Prosopis juliflora
(vilayati kikar or vilayati babul) which
was introduced into India from South
America and which has become
naturalised all over north India.
Did you know that the chaurs,
the wide grassy meadows of Corbett
National Park in Uttarakhand which
offer excellent views of wildlife, were
once agricultural fields?  Villages in
the area were relocated in order to
create what now appears to be a
pristine wilderness.
Can you think of other
examples where what seems to be
‘natural’ is actually modified by
cultural interventions?
Alongside biophysical properties
and processes that may have been
transformed by human action — for
example, the flow of a river and the
species composition of a forest, there
are other ecological elements around
us that are more obviously human-
made. An agricultural farm with its
soil and water conservation works, its
cultivated plants and domesticated
animals, its inputs of synthetic
fertilisers and pesticides, is clearly a
human transformation of nature.  The
built environment of a city, made from
concrete, cement, brick, stone, glass
and tar, uses natural resources but is
very much a human artefact.
Social environments emerge from
the interaction between biophysical
ecology and human interventions.
This is a two-way process. Just as
nature shapes society, society shapes
nature. For instance, the fertile soil of
the Indo-Gangetic floodplain enables
intensive agriculture. Its high
productivity allows dense population
settlements and generates enough
surpluses to support other, non-
agricultural activities, giving rise to
complex hierarchical societies and
states. In contrast, the desert of
Rajasthan can only support
pastoralists who move from place to
place in order to keep their livestock
supplied with fodder.  These are
instances of ecology shaping the forms
of human life and culture. On the
other hand, the social organisation of
capitalism has shaped nature across
the world. The private automobile is
one instance of a capitalist commodity
2019-20
 52 UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY
that has transformed lives and
landscapes.  Air pollution and
congestion in cities, regional conflicts
and wars over oil, and global warming
are just a few of the environmental
effects of cars.  Human interventions
increasingly have the power to alter
environments, often permanently.
A dam
A small dam
2019-20
Page 4


 50 UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY
CHAPTER 3
ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
Look around you. What do you see? If
you are in a classroom, you may see
students in uniform, sitting on chairs
with books open on their desk.  There
are school bags with lunch and pencil
boxes.  Ceiling fans might be whirring
overhead.  Have you ever thought
about where these things — school
clothes, furniture, bags, electricity,
come from?  If you trace their origins,
you will find that the source of each
material object lies in nature.  Every
day, we use objects whose production
draws upon natural resources from
around the world.  The chair in your
classroom may be made from wood
with iron nails, glue and varnish.  Its
journey from a tree in a forest or
plantation to you depends on
electricity, diesel, facilities for trade,
and telecommunications.  Along the
way, it has passed through the hands
of loggers, carpenters, supervisors and
managers, transporters, traders and
those in charge of buying school
furniture.  These producers and
distributors, and the inputs that they
provide into chair manufacturing, in
turn use a variety of goods and
services derived from nature.  Try and
map these resource flows and you will
soon see how complex such
relationships are!
In this chapter, we will study social
relationships with the environment as
they have changed over time and as
they vary from place to place.  It is
important to analyse and interpret
such variations in a systematic way.
There are many urgent environmental
problems that demand our attention.
To address these crises effectively, we
need a sociological framework for
understanding why they occur and
how they might be prevented or
resolved.
All societies have an ecological
basis.  The term ecology denotes the
web of physical and biological systems
and processes of which humans are
one element.  Mountains and rivers,
plains and oceans, and the flora and
fauna that they support, are a part of
ecology.  The ecology of a place is also
affected by the interaction between its
geography and hydrology. For
example, the plant and animal life
unique to a desert is adapted to its
scarce rainfall, rocky or sandy soils,
and extreme temperatures. Similar
2019-20
51 ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
ecological factors limit and shape how
human beings can live in any
particular place.
Over time, however, ecology has
been modified by human action.
What appears to be a natural feature
of the environment — aridity or flood-
proneness, for example, is often
produced by human intervention.
Deforestation in the upper catchment
of a river may make the river more
flood-prone.  Climate change brought
about by global warming is another
instance of the widespread impact of
human activity on nature.  Over time,
it is often difficult to separate and
distinguish between the natural and
human factors in ecological change.
Activity 1
Did you know that the Ridge forest
in Delhi is not the natural vegetation
of this region but was planted by the
British around 1915?  Its dominant
tree species is Prosopis juliflora
(vilayati kikar or vilayati babul) which
was introduced into India from South
America and which has become
naturalised all over north India.
Did you know that the chaurs,
the wide grassy meadows of Corbett
National Park in Uttarakhand which
offer excellent views of wildlife, were
once agricultural fields?  Villages in
the area were relocated in order to
create what now appears to be a
pristine wilderness.
Can you think of other
examples where what seems to be
‘natural’ is actually modified by
cultural interventions?
Alongside biophysical properties
and processes that may have been
transformed by human action — for
example, the flow of a river and the
species composition of a forest, there
are other ecological elements around
us that are more obviously human-
made. An agricultural farm with its
soil and water conservation works, its
cultivated plants and domesticated
animals, its inputs of synthetic
fertilisers and pesticides, is clearly a
human transformation of nature.  The
built environment of a city, made from
concrete, cement, brick, stone, glass
and tar, uses natural resources but is
very much a human artefact.
Social environments emerge from
the interaction between biophysical
ecology and human interventions.
This is a two-way process. Just as
nature shapes society, society shapes
nature. For instance, the fertile soil of
the Indo-Gangetic floodplain enables
intensive agriculture. Its high
productivity allows dense population
settlements and generates enough
surpluses to support other, non-
agricultural activities, giving rise to
complex hierarchical societies and
states. In contrast, the desert of
Rajasthan can only support
pastoralists who move from place to
place in order to keep their livestock
supplied with fodder.  These are
instances of ecology shaping the forms
of human life and culture. On the
other hand, the social organisation of
capitalism has shaped nature across
the world. The private automobile is
one instance of a capitalist commodity
2019-20
 52 UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY
that has transformed lives and
landscapes.  Air pollution and
congestion in cities, regional conflicts
and wars over oil, and global warming
are just a few of the environmental
effects of cars.  Human interventions
increasingly have the power to alter
environments, often permanently.
A dam
A small dam
2019-20
53 ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
The ecological effects of the
Industrial Revolution in Britain
were felt all over the world.  Large
areas of southern North America
and the Caribbean were converted
to plantations to meet the demand
for cotton in the mills of Lancashire.
Young West Africans were forcibly
transported to America to work as
slave labour on the plantations.  The
depopulation of West Africa caused
its agricultural economy to decline,
with fields reverting to fallow
wastelands.  In Britain, smoke from
the coal-burning mills fouled the air.
Displaced farmers and labourers
from the countryside came to the
cities for work and lived in wretched
conditions.  The ecological footprints
of the cotton industry could be found
all over urban and rural
environments.
The interaction between
environment and society is shaped by
social organisation. Property
relations determine how and by whom
natural resources can be used.  For
instance, if forests are owned by the
government, it will have the power to
decide whether it should lease them
to timber companies or allow villagers
to collect forest produce. Private
ownership of land and water sources
will affect whether others can have
access to these resources and on what
terms and conditions.  Ownership and
control over resources is also related
to the division of labour in the
production process. Landless
labourers and women will have a
different relationship with natural
resources than men. In rural India,
women are likely to experience resource
scarcity more acutely because
gathering fuel and fetching water are
generally women’s tasks but they do
not control these resources.  Social
organisation influences how different
social groups relate to their
environment.
Different relationships between
environment and society also reflect
different social values and norms, as
well as knowledge systems.  The
values underlying capitalism have
supported the commodification of
nature, turning it into objects that can
be bought and sold for profit.  For
instance, the multiple cultural
meanings of a river — its ecological,
utilitarian, spiritual, and aesthetic
significance, are stripped down to a
single set of calculations about profit
and loss from the sale of water for an
entrepreneur. Socialist values of
equality and justice have led to the
seizure of lands from large landlords
and their redistribution among
landless peasants in a number of
countries.  Religious values have led
some social groups to protect and
conserve sacred groves and species
and others to believe that they have
divine sanction to change the
environment to suit their needs.
There are many different
perspectives on the environment
and its relationship to society.  These
differences include the ‘nature-
nurture’ debate and whether
individual characteristics are innate
or are influenced by environmental
factors.  For instance, are people poor
2019-20
Page 5


 50 UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY
CHAPTER 3
ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
Look around you. What do you see? If
you are in a classroom, you may see
students in uniform, sitting on chairs
with books open on their desk.  There
are school bags with lunch and pencil
boxes.  Ceiling fans might be whirring
overhead.  Have you ever thought
about where these things — school
clothes, furniture, bags, electricity,
come from?  If you trace their origins,
you will find that the source of each
material object lies in nature.  Every
day, we use objects whose production
draws upon natural resources from
around the world.  The chair in your
classroom may be made from wood
with iron nails, glue and varnish.  Its
journey from a tree in a forest or
plantation to you depends on
electricity, diesel, facilities for trade,
and telecommunications.  Along the
way, it has passed through the hands
of loggers, carpenters, supervisors and
managers, transporters, traders and
those in charge of buying school
furniture.  These producers and
distributors, and the inputs that they
provide into chair manufacturing, in
turn use a variety of goods and
services derived from nature.  Try and
map these resource flows and you will
soon see how complex such
relationships are!
In this chapter, we will study social
relationships with the environment as
they have changed over time and as
they vary from place to place.  It is
important to analyse and interpret
such variations in a systematic way.
There are many urgent environmental
problems that demand our attention.
To address these crises effectively, we
need a sociological framework for
understanding why they occur and
how they might be prevented or
resolved.
All societies have an ecological
basis.  The term ecology denotes the
web of physical and biological systems
and processes of which humans are
one element.  Mountains and rivers,
plains and oceans, and the flora and
fauna that they support, are a part of
ecology.  The ecology of a place is also
affected by the interaction between its
geography and hydrology. For
example, the plant and animal life
unique to a desert is adapted to its
scarce rainfall, rocky or sandy soils,
and extreme temperatures. Similar
2019-20
51 ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
ecological factors limit and shape how
human beings can live in any
particular place.
Over time, however, ecology has
been modified by human action.
What appears to be a natural feature
of the environment — aridity or flood-
proneness, for example, is often
produced by human intervention.
Deforestation in the upper catchment
of a river may make the river more
flood-prone.  Climate change brought
about by global warming is another
instance of the widespread impact of
human activity on nature.  Over time,
it is often difficult to separate and
distinguish between the natural and
human factors in ecological change.
Activity 1
Did you know that the Ridge forest
in Delhi is not the natural vegetation
of this region but was planted by the
British around 1915?  Its dominant
tree species is Prosopis juliflora
(vilayati kikar or vilayati babul) which
was introduced into India from South
America and which has become
naturalised all over north India.
Did you know that the chaurs,
the wide grassy meadows of Corbett
National Park in Uttarakhand which
offer excellent views of wildlife, were
once agricultural fields?  Villages in
the area were relocated in order to
create what now appears to be a
pristine wilderness.
Can you think of other
examples where what seems to be
‘natural’ is actually modified by
cultural interventions?
Alongside biophysical properties
and processes that may have been
transformed by human action — for
example, the flow of a river and the
species composition of a forest, there
are other ecological elements around
us that are more obviously human-
made. An agricultural farm with its
soil and water conservation works, its
cultivated plants and domesticated
animals, its inputs of synthetic
fertilisers and pesticides, is clearly a
human transformation of nature.  The
built environment of a city, made from
concrete, cement, brick, stone, glass
and tar, uses natural resources but is
very much a human artefact.
Social environments emerge from
the interaction between biophysical
ecology and human interventions.
This is a two-way process. Just as
nature shapes society, society shapes
nature. For instance, the fertile soil of
the Indo-Gangetic floodplain enables
intensive agriculture. Its high
productivity allows dense population
settlements and generates enough
surpluses to support other, non-
agricultural activities, giving rise to
complex hierarchical societies and
states. In contrast, the desert of
Rajasthan can only support
pastoralists who move from place to
place in order to keep their livestock
supplied with fodder.  These are
instances of ecology shaping the forms
of human life and culture. On the
other hand, the social organisation of
capitalism has shaped nature across
the world. The private automobile is
one instance of a capitalist commodity
2019-20
 52 UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY
that has transformed lives and
landscapes.  Air pollution and
congestion in cities, regional conflicts
and wars over oil, and global warming
are just a few of the environmental
effects of cars.  Human interventions
increasingly have the power to alter
environments, often permanently.
A dam
A small dam
2019-20
53 ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
The ecological effects of the
Industrial Revolution in Britain
were felt all over the world.  Large
areas of southern North America
and the Caribbean were converted
to plantations to meet the demand
for cotton in the mills of Lancashire.
Young West Africans were forcibly
transported to America to work as
slave labour on the plantations.  The
depopulation of West Africa caused
its agricultural economy to decline,
with fields reverting to fallow
wastelands.  In Britain, smoke from
the coal-burning mills fouled the air.
Displaced farmers and labourers
from the countryside came to the
cities for work and lived in wretched
conditions.  The ecological footprints
of the cotton industry could be found
all over urban and rural
environments.
The interaction between
environment and society is shaped by
social organisation. Property
relations determine how and by whom
natural resources can be used.  For
instance, if forests are owned by the
government, it will have the power to
decide whether it should lease them
to timber companies or allow villagers
to collect forest produce. Private
ownership of land and water sources
will affect whether others can have
access to these resources and on what
terms and conditions.  Ownership and
control over resources is also related
to the division of labour in the
production process. Landless
labourers and women will have a
different relationship with natural
resources than men. In rural India,
women are likely to experience resource
scarcity more acutely because
gathering fuel and fetching water are
generally women’s tasks but they do
not control these resources.  Social
organisation influences how different
social groups relate to their
environment.
Different relationships between
environment and society also reflect
different social values and norms, as
well as knowledge systems.  The
values underlying capitalism have
supported the commodification of
nature, turning it into objects that can
be bought and sold for profit.  For
instance, the multiple cultural
meanings of a river — its ecological,
utilitarian, spiritual, and aesthetic
significance, are stripped down to a
single set of calculations about profit
and loss from the sale of water for an
entrepreneur. Socialist values of
equality and justice have led to the
seizure of lands from large landlords
and their redistribution among
landless peasants in a number of
countries.  Religious values have led
some social groups to protect and
conserve sacred groves and species
and others to believe that they have
divine sanction to change the
environment to suit their needs.
There are many different
perspectives on the environment
and its relationship to society.  These
differences include the ‘nature-
nurture’ debate and whether
individual characteristics are innate
or are influenced by environmental
factors.  For instance, are people poor
2019-20
 54 UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY
because they are innately less
talented or hard-working or because
they are born into a situation of
disadvantage and lack of
opportunity?  Theories and data
about environment and society are
influenced by the social conditions
under which they emerge.  Thus the
notions that women are intrinsically
less able than men, and Blacks
naturally less able than Whites, were
challenged as ideas of equality
became more widespread during the
18
th
 century’s social and political
revolutions.  Colonialism generated a
great deal of knowledge about
environment and society, often
systematically compiling it in order
to make resources available to the
imperial powers.  Geology, geography,
botany, zoology, forestry and
hydraulic engineering were among
the many disciplines that were created
and institutionalised to facilitate the
management of natural resources for
colonial purposes.
Environmental management is,
however, a very difficult task.  Not
enough is known about biophysical
processes to predict and control them.
In addition, human relations with the
environment have become increasingly
complex. With the spread of indu-
strialisation, resource extraction has
expanded and accelerated, affecting
ecosystems in unprecedented ways.
Complex industrial technologies and
modes of organisation require
sophisticated management systems
which are often fragile and vulnerable
to error. We live in risk societies using
technologies and products that we do
not fully grasp. The occurrence of
nuclear disasters like Chernobyl,
industrial accidents like Bhopal, and
Mad Cow disease in Europe shows the
dangers inherent in industrial
environments.
Bhopal Industrial Disaster: Who was to Blame?
On the night of 3 December 1984, a deadly gas spread through Bhopal, killing
about 4,000 people and leaving another 200,000 permanently disabled.  The gas
was later identified as methyl isocyanate (MIC), accidentally released by a Union
Carbide pesticide factory in the city.  In its State of India’s Environment: The Second
Citizens’ Report, the Centre for Science and Environment analysed the reasons
behind the disaster:
‘Union Carbide’s coming to Bhopal in 1977 was welcomed by all, because it
meant jobs and money for Bhopal, and saving in foreign exchange for the country,
with the rising demand for pesticides after the Green Revolution.  The MIC plant
was troublesome from the start and there were several leakages, including one that
caused the death of a plant operator, until the big disaster.  However, the government
steadfastly ignored warnings, notably from the head of the Bhopal Municipal
Corporation who issued notice to Union Carbide to move out of Bhopal in 1975.
The officer was transferred and the company donated Rs 25,000 to the Corporation
for a park.
2019-20
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