NCERT Textbook - Geographical Perspective on Selected Issues and Problems Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Geography Class 12

UPSC : NCERT Textbook - Geographical Perspective on Selected Issues and Problems Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Unit V Unit V Unit V Unit V Unit V
Chapter 12
GEOGRAPHICAL
PERSPECTIVE ON
SELECTED ISSUES
AND PROBLEMS
En En En En Envir vir vir vir vironmental P onmental P onmental P onmental P onmental Pollution ollution ollution ollution ollution
Environmental pollution results from ‘the
release of substances and energy from waste
products of human activities. There are many
types of pollution. They are classified on the
basis of medium through which pollutants are
transported and diffused. Pollution can be
classified into (i) air pollution, (ii) water
pollution, (iii) land pollution and (iv) noise
pollution.
Water Pollution
Indiscriminate use of water by increasing
population and industrial expansion has led
degradation of the quality of water considerably.
Surface water available from rivers, canals,
lakes, etc. is never pure. It contains small
quantities of suspended particles, organic and
inorganic substances. When concentration of
these substances increases, the water becomes
polluted, and hence becomes unfit for use. In
such a situation, the self-purifying capacity of
water is unable to purify the water.
Though water pollutants are also created
from natural sources (erosion, landslides,
decay and decomposition of plants and
animals, etc.) pollutants from human activities
are the real causes of concern. Human beings
pollute the water through industrial,
agricultural and cultural activities. Among
these activities, industry is the most significant
contributor.
Fig.12.1 : Cutting Through Effluent : Rowing
through a pervasive layer of foam on the heavily
polluted Yamuna on the outskirts of New Delhi
2020-21
Page 2


Unit V Unit V Unit V Unit V Unit V
Chapter 12
GEOGRAPHICAL
PERSPECTIVE ON
SELECTED ISSUES
AND PROBLEMS
En En En En Envir vir vir vir vironmental P onmental P onmental P onmental P onmental Pollution ollution ollution ollution ollution
Environmental pollution results from ‘the
release of substances and energy from waste
products of human activities. There are many
types of pollution. They are classified on the
basis of medium through which pollutants are
transported and diffused. Pollution can be
classified into (i) air pollution, (ii) water
pollution, (iii) land pollution and (iv) noise
pollution.
Water Pollution
Indiscriminate use of water by increasing
population and industrial expansion has led
degradation of the quality of water considerably.
Surface water available from rivers, canals,
lakes, etc. is never pure. It contains small
quantities of suspended particles, organic and
inorganic substances. When concentration of
these substances increases, the water becomes
polluted, and hence becomes unfit for use. In
such a situation, the self-purifying capacity of
water is unable to purify the water.
Though water pollutants are also created
from natural sources (erosion, landslides,
decay and decomposition of plants and
animals, etc.) pollutants from human activities
are the real causes of concern. Human beings
pollute the water through industrial,
agricultural and cultural activities. Among
these activities, industry is the most significant
contributor.
Fig.12.1 : Cutting Through Effluent : Rowing
through a pervasive layer of foam on the heavily
polluted Yamuna on the outskirts of New Delhi
2020-21
134 India : People and Economy
Pollution Types Pollution Involved Sources of Pollution
Air Pollution Oxides of sulphur (SO
2
, SO
3
), Oxides of
nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydro-carbon,
ammonia, lead, aldehydes asbestos and beryllium.
Combustion of coal, petrol and diesel,
industrial processes, solid waste disposal,
sewage disposal, etc.
Water Pollution Odour, dissolved and suspended solids,
ammonia and urea, nitrate and nitrites,
chloride, fluoride, carbonates, oil and grease,
insecticide and pesticide residue, tannin,
coliform MPM (bacterial count) sulphates and
sulphides, heavy metals e.g. lead, aresenic,
mercury, manganese, etc., radioactive
substances.
Sewage disposal, urban run-off, toxic
effluents from industries, run-off over
cultivated lands and nuclear power plants.
Land Pollution Human and animal excreta viruses and
bacteria, garbage and vectors therein,
pesticides and fertiliser-residue alkalinity,
fluorides, radio-active substances.
Improper human activities, disposal of
untreated industrial waste, use of pesticides
and fertilisers.
Noise Pollution High level of noise above tolerance level. Aircrafts, automobiles, trains, industrial
processing and advertising media.
Table 12.1 : Types and Sources of Pollution
Industries produce several undesirable
products including industrial wastes, polluted
waste water, poisonous gases, chemical
residuals, numerous heavy metals, dust,
smoke, etc. Most of the industrial wastes are
disposed off in running water or lakes.
Consequently, poisonous elements reach the
reservoirs, rivers and other water bodies, which
destroy the bio-system of these waters. Major
water polluting industries are leather, pulp and
paper, textiles and chemicals.
River and State Polluted Stretches Nature of Pollution Main Polluters
Ganga
(Uttar Pradesh)
Bihar
and
West Bengal
(a) Downstream of Kanpur
(b) Downstream of Varanasi
(c) Farrakka Barrage
1. Industrial pollution from
towns like Kanpur
2. Domestic wastes from
urban centres
3. Dumping of carcasses in
the river
Table 12.2 : Sources of Pollution in the Ganga and the Yamuna Rivers
Cities of Kanpur, Allahabad,
Varanasi, Patna and Kolkata
release domestic waste into the
river
Y amuna
(Delhi)
and
(Uttar Pradesh)
(a) Delhi to confluence with
Chambal
(b)   Mathura and Agra
1. Extraction of water by
Haryana and Uttar
Pradesh for irrigation
2. Agricultural run off
resulting in high levels of
micro-pollutants in the
Yamuna
3. Domestic and industrial
waste of Delhi flowing
into the river
Delhi dumping its domestic
waste
Various types of chemicals used in
modern agriculture such as inorganic
fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides are also
pollution generating components. These
chemicals are washed down to rivers, lakes
and tanks. These chemicals also infiltrate the
soil to reach the ground water. Fertiliser
induces an increase in the nitrate content of
surface waters. Cultural activities such as
pilgrimage, religious fairs, tourism, etc. also
cause water pollution. In India, almost all
2020-21
Page 3


Unit V Unit V Unit V Unit V Unit V
Chapter 12
GEOGRAPHICAL
PERSPECTIVE ON
SELECTED ISSUES
AND PROBLEMS
En En En En Envir vir vir vir vironmental P onmental P onmental P onmental P onmental Pollution ollution ollution ollution ollution
Environmental pollution results from ‘the
release of substances and energy from waste
products of human activities. There are many
types of pollution. They are classified on the
basis of medium through which pollutants are
transported and diffused. Pollution can be
classified into (i) air pollution, (ii) water
pollution, (iii) land pollution and (iv) noise
pollution.
Water Pollution
Indiscriminate use of water by increasing
population and industrial expansion has led
degradation of the quality of water considerably.
Surface water available from rivers, canals,
lakes, etc. is never pure. It contains small
quantities of suspended particles, organic and
inorganic substances. When concentration of
these substances increases, the water becomes
polluted, and hence becomes unfit for use. In
such a situation, the self-purifying capacity of
water is unable to purify the water.
Though water pollutants are also created
from natural sources (erosion, landslides,
decay and decomposition of plants and
animals, etc.) pollutants from human activities
are the real causes of concern. Human beings
pollute the water through industrial,
agricultural and cultural activities. Among
these activities, industry is the most significant
contributor.
Fig.12.1 : Cutting Through Effluent : Rowing
through a pervasive layer of foam on the heavily
polluted Yamuna on the outskirts of New Delhi
2020-21
134 India : People and Economy
Pollution Types Pollution Involved Sources of Pollution
Air Pollution Oxides of sulphur (SO
2
, SO
3
), Oxides of
nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydro-carbon,
ammonia, lead, aldehydes asbestos and beryllium.
Combustion of coal, petrol and diesel,
industrial processes, solid waste disposal,
sewage disposal, etc.
Water Pollution Odour, dissolved and suspended solids,
ammonia and urea, nitrate and nitrites,
chloride, fluoride, carbonates, oil and grease,
insecticide and pesticide residue, tannin,
coliform MPM (bacterial count) sulphates and
sulphides, heavy metals e.g. lead, aresenic,
mercury, manganese, etc., radioactive
substances.
Sewage disposal, urban run-off, toxic
effluents from industries, run-off over
cultivated lands and nuclear power plants.
Land Pollution Human and animal excreta viruses and
bacteria, garbage and vectors therein,
pesticides and fertiliser-residue alkalinity,
fluorides, radio-active substances.
Improper human activities, disposal of
untreated industrial waste, use of pesticides
and fertilisers.
Noise Pollution High level of noise above tolerance level. Aircrafts, automobiles, trains, industrial
processing and advertising media.
Table 12.1 : Types and Sources of Pollution
Industries produce several undesirable
products including industrial wastes, polluted
waste water, poisonous gases, chemical
residuals, numerous heavy metals, dust,
smoke, etc. Most of the industrial wastes are
disposed off in running water or lakes.
Consequently, poisonous elements reach the
reservoirs, rivers and other water bodies, which
destroy the bio-system of these waters. Major
water polluting industries are leather, pulp and
paper, textiles and chemicals.
River and State Polluted Stretches Nature of Pollution Main Polluters
Ganga
(Uttar Pradesh)
Bihar
and
West Bengal
(a) Downstream of Kanpur
(b) Downstream of Varanasi
(c) Farrakka Barrage
1. Industrial pollution from
towns like Kanpur
2. Domestic wastes from
urban centres
3. Dumping of carcasses in
the river
Table 12.2 : Sources of Pollution in the Ganga and the Yamuna Rivers
Cities of Kanpur, Allahabad,
Varanasi, Patna and Kolkata
release domestic waste into the
river
Y amuna
(Delhi)
and
(Uttar Pradesh)
(a) Delhi to confluence with
Chambal
(b)   Mathura and Agra
1. Extraction of water by
Haryana and Uttar
Pradesh for irrigation
2. Agricultural run off
resulting in high levels of
micro-pollutants in the
Yamuna
3. Domestic and industrial
waste of Delhi flowing
into the river
Delhi dumping its domestic
waste
Various types of chemicals used in
modern agriculture such as inorganic
fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides are also
pollution generating components. These
chemicals are washed down to rivers, lakes
and tanks. These chemicals also infiltrate the
soil to reach the ground water. Fertiliser
induces an increase in the nitrate content of
surface waters. Cultural activities such as
pilgrimage, religious fairs, tourism, etc. also
cause water pollution. In India, almost all
2020-21
Geographical perspective on selected issues and problems     135
surface water sources are contaminated and
unfit for human consumption.
Water pollution is a source of various
water- borne diseases. The diseases commonly
caused due to contaminated water are
diarrhoea, intestinal worms, hepatitis, etc. The
World Health Organization shows that about
one-fourth of the communicable diseases in
India are water-borne. Though river pollution
is common to all rivers, yet pollution of river
Ganga flowing through one of the mot populous
regions of India has caused great concerns
among all. To imporve the condition of the river,
National Mission for Clean Ganga was initiated.
The Namami Gange Programme has been
launched for the same.
Air Pollution
Air pollution is taken as addition of
contaminants, like dust, fumes, gas, fog, odour,
smoke or vapour to the air in substantial
proportion and duration that may be harmful
to flora and fauna and to property. With
increasing use of varieties of fuels as  the
source of energy, there is a marked increase
in emission of toxic gases into the atmosphere
resulting in the pollution of air. Combustion
of fossil fuels, mining and industries are the
main sources of air pollution. These processes
release oxides of sulphur and nitrogen,
hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon
monoxide, lead and asbestos.
Air pollution causes various diseases related
to respiratory, nervous and circulatory systems.
Smog in
Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme
Ganga, as a river, has national importance
but the river requires cleaning by
effectively controlling the pollution for its
water. The Union Government has
launched the ‘Namami Gange
Programme’ with the following objectives:
• developing sewerage treatment
systems in towns,
• monitoring of industrial effluents,
• development of river front,
• afforestation along the bank of increase
biodiversity,
• cleaning of the river surface,
• development of ‘Ganga Grams’ in
Uttarakhand, UP , Bihar , Jharkhand and
West Bengal, and
• creating public awareness to avoid
adding pollutants in  to the river even
in the form of rituals.
2020-21
Page 4


Unit V Unit V Unit V Unit V Unit V
Chapter 12
GEOGRAPHICAL
PERSPECTIVE ON
SELECTED ISSUES
AND PROBLEMS
En En En En Envir vir vir vir vironmental P onmental P onmental P onmental P onmental Pollution ollution ollution ollution ollution
Environmental pollution results from ‘the
release of substances and energy from waste
products of human activities. There are many
types of pollution. They are classified on the
basis of medium through which pollutants are
transported and diffused. Pollution can be
classified into (i) air pollution, (ii) water
pollution, (iii) land pollution and (iv) noise
pollution.
Water Pollution
Indiscriminate use of water by increasing
population and industrial expansion has led
degradation of the quality of water considerably.
Surface water available from rivers, canals,
lakes, etc. is never pure. It contains small
quantities of suspended particles, organic and
inorganic substances. When concentration of
these substances increases, the water becomes
polluted, and hence becomes unfit for use. In
such a situation, the self-purifying capacity of
water is unable to purify the water.
Though water pollutants are also created
from natural sources (erosion, landslides,
decay and decomposition of plants and
animals, etc.) pollutants from human activities
are the real causes of concern. Human beings
pollute the water through industrial,
agricultural and cultural activities. Among
these activities, industry is the most significant
contributor.
Fig.12.1 : Cutting Through Effluent : Rowing
through a pervasive layer of foam on the heavily
polluted Yamuna on the outskirts of New Delhi
2020-21
134 India : People and Economy
Pollution Types Pollution Involved Sources of Pollution
Air Pollution Oxides of sulphur (SO
2
, SO
3
), Oxides of
nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydro-carbon,
ammonia, lead, aldehydes asbestos and beryllium.
Combustion of coal, petrol and diesel,
industrial processes, solid waste disposal,
sewage disposal, etc.
Water Pollution Odour, dissolved and suspended solids,
ammonia and urea, nitrate and nitrites,
chloride, fluoride, carbonates, oil and grease,
insecticide and pesticide residue, tannin,
coliform MPM (bacterial count) sulphates and
sulphides, heavy metals e.g. lead, aresenic,
mercury, manganese, etc., radioactive
substances.
Sewage disposal, urban run-off, toxic
effluents from industries, run-off over
cultivated lands and nuclear power plants.
Land Pollution Human and animal excreta viruses and
bacteria, garbage and vectors therein,
pesticides and fertiliser-residue alkalinity,
fluorides, radio-active substances.
Improper human activities, disposal of
untreated industrial waste, use of pesticides
and fertilisers.
Noise Pollution High level of noise above tolerance level. Aircrafts, automobiles, trains, industrial
processing and advertising media.
Table 12.1 : Types and Sources of Pollution
Industries produce several undesirable
products including industrial wastes, polluted
waste water, poisonous gases, chemical
residuals, numerous heavy metals, dust,
smoke, etc. Most of the industrial wastes are
disposed off in running water or lakes.
Consequently, poisonous elements reach the
reservoirs, rivers and other water bodies, which
destroy the bio-system of these waters. Major
water polluting industries are leather, pulp and
paper, textiles and chemicals.
River and State Polluted Stretches Nature of Pollution Main Polluters
Ganga
(Uttar Pradesh)
Bihar
and
West Bengal
(a) Downstream of Kanpur
(b) Downstream of Varanasi
(c) Farrakka Barrage
1. Industrial pollution from
towns like Kanpur
2. Domestic wastes from
urban centres
3. Dumping of carcasses in
the river
Table 12.2 : Sources of Pollution in the Ganga and the Yamuna Rivers
Cities of Kanpur, Allahabad,
Varanasi, Patna and Kolkata
release domestic waste into the
river
Y amuna
(Delhi)
and
(Uttar Pradesh)
(a) Delhi to confluence with
Chambal
(b)   Mathura and Agra
1. Extraction of water by
Haryana and Uttar
Pradesh for irrigation
2. Agricultural run off
resulting in high levels of
micro-pollutants in the
Yamuna
3. Domestic and industrial
waste of Delhi flowing
into the river
Delhi dumping its domestic
waste
Various types of chemicals used in
modern agriculture such as inorganic
fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides are also
pollution generating components. These
chemicals are washed down to rivers, lakes
and tanks. These chemicals also infiltrate the
soil to reach the ground water. Fertiliser
induces an increase in the nitrate content of
surface waters. Cultural activities such as
pilgrimage, religious fairs, tourism, etc. also
cause water pollution. In India, almost all
2020-21
Geographical perspective on selected issues and problems     135
surface water sources are contaminated and
unfit for human consumption.
Water pollution is a source of various
water- borne diseases. The diseases commonly
caused due to contaminated water are
diarrhoea, intestinal worms, hepatitis, etc. The
World Health Organization shows that about
one-fourth of the communicable diseases in
India are water-borne. Though river pollution
is common to all rivers, yet pollution of river
Ganga flowing through one of the mot populous
regions of India has caused great concerns
among all. To imporve the condition of the river,
National Mission for Clean Ganga was initiated.
The Namami Gange Programme has been
launched for the same.
Air Pollution
Air pollution is taken as addition of
contaminants, like dust, fumes, gas, fog, odour,
smoke or vapour to the air in substantial
proportion and duration that may be harmful
to flora and fauna and to property. With
increasing use of varieties of fuels as  the
source of energy, there is a marked increase
in emission of toxic gases into the atmosphere
resulting in the pollution of air. Combustion
of fossil fuels, mining and industries are the
main sources of air pollution. These processes
release oxides of sulphur and nitrogen,
hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon
monoxide, lead and asbestos.
Air pollution causes various diseases related
to respiratory, nervous and circulatory systems.
Smog in
Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme
Ganga, as a river, has national importance
but the river requires cleaning by
effectively controlling the pollution for its
water. The Union Government has
launched the ‘Namami Gange
Programme’ with the following objectives:
• developing sewerage treatment
systems in towns,
• monitoring of industrial effluents,
• development of river front,
• afforestation along the bank of increase
biodiversity,
• cleaning of the river surface,
• development of ‘Ganga Grams’ in
Uttarakhand, UP , Bihar , Jharkhand and
West Bengal, and
• creating public awareness to avoid
adding pollutants in  to the river even
in the form of rituals.
2020-21
136 India : People and Economy
from the source of pollution, i.e. industrial
areas, arteries of transportation, airport, etc.
Noise pollution is hazardous in many
metropolitan and big cities in India.
Urban Waste Disposal Urban Waste Disposal Urban Waste Disposal Urban Waste Disposal Urban Waste Disposal
Urban areas are generally marked by
overcrowding, congestion, inadequate facilities
to support the fast growing population and
consequent poor sanitary conditions and foul
air. Environmental pollution by solid wastes
has now got significance because of enormous
growth in the quantity of wastes generated
from various sources. Solid waste refers to a
variety of old and used articles, for example
stained small pieces of metals, broken
glassware, plastic containers, polythene bags,
ash, floppies, CDs, etc., dumped at different
places. These discarded materials are also
termed as refuse, garbage and rubbish, etc.,
and are disposed of from two sources : (i)
household or domestic establishments, and (ii)
industrial or commercial establishments. The
household wastes are disposed off either on
public lands or on private contractors’ sites,
Smoky fog over cities called as urban
smog is caused by atmospheric pollution. It
proves very harmful to human health. Air
pollution can also cause acid rains. Rainwater
analysis of urban environment has indicated
that pH value of the first rain after summer is
always lower than the subsequent rains.
Noise Pollution
Noise pollution refers to the state of
unbearable and uncomfortable to human
beings which is caused by noise from different
sources. This matter has become a serious
concern only in recent years due to a variety
of technological innovations.
The main sources of noise pollution are
various factories, mechanised construction
and demolition works, automobiles and
aircraft, etc. There may be added periodical
but polluting noise from sirens, loudspeakers
used in various festivals, programmes
associated with community activities. The level
of steady noise is measured by sound level
expressed in terms of decibels (dB).
Of all these sources, the biggest nuisance
is the noise produced by traffic, because its
intensity and nature depend upon factors,
such as the type of aircraft, vehicle, train and
the condition of road, as well as, that of vehicle
(in case of automobiles). In sea traffic, the noise
pollution is confined to the harbour due to
loading and unloading activities being carried.
Industries cause noise pollution but with
varying intensity depending upon the type of
industry.
Noise pollution is location specific and its
intensity declines with increase in distance
Fig. 12.2 : Noise monitoring at Panchpatmalai
Bauxite Mine
2020-21
Page 5


Unit V Unit V Unit V Unit V Unit V
Chapter 12
GEOGRAPHICAL
PERSPECTIVE ON
SELECTED ISSUES
AND PROBLEMS
En En En En Envir vir vir vir vironmental P onmental P onmental P onmental P onmental Pollution ollution ollution ollution ollution
Environmental pollution results from ‘the
release of substances and energy from waste
products of human activities. There are many
types of pollution. They are classified on the
basis of medium through which pollutants are
transported and diffused. Pollution can be
classified into (i) air pollution, (ii) water
pollution, (iii) land pollution and (iv) noise
pollution.
Water Pollution
Indiscriminate use of water by increasing
population and industrial expansion has led
degradation of the quality of water considerably.
Surface water available from rivers, canals,
lakes, etc. is never pure. It contains small
quantities of suspended particles, organic and
inorganic substances. When concentration of
these substances increases, the water becomes
polluted, and hence becomes unfit for use. In
such a situation, the self-purifying capacity of
water is unable to purify the water.
Though water pollutants are also created
from natural sources (erosion, landslides,
decay and decomposition of plants and
animals, etc.) pollutants from human activities
are the real causes of concern. Human beings
pollute the water through industrial,
agricultural and cultural activities. Among
these activities, industry is the most significant
contributor.
Fig.12.1 : Cutting Through Effluent : Rowing
through a pervasive layer of foam on the heavily
polluted Yamuna on the outskirts of New Delhi
2020-21
134 India : People and Economy
Pollution Types Pollution Involved Sources of Pollution
Air Pollution Oxides of sulphur (SO
2
, SO
3
), Oxides of
nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydro-carbon,
ammonia, lead, aldehydes asbestos and beryllium.
Combustion of coal, petrol and diesel,
industrial processes, solid waste disposal,
sewage disposal, etc.
Water Pollution Odour, dissolved and suspended solids,
ammonia and urea, nitrate and nitrites,
chloride, fluoride, carbonates, oil and grease,
insecticide and pesticide residue, tannin,
coliform MPM (bacterial count) sulphates and
sulphides, heavy metals e.g. lead, aresenic,
mercury, manganese, etc., radioactive
substances.
Sewage disposal, urban run-off, toxic
effluents from industries, run-off over
cultivated lands and nuclear power plants.
Land Pollution Human and animal excreta viruses and
bacteria, garbage and vectors therein,
pesticides and fertiliser-residue alkalinity,
fluorides, radio-active substances.
Improper human activities, disposal of
untreated industrial waste, use of pesticides
and fertilisers.
Noise Pollution High level of noise above tolerance level. Aircrafts, automobiles, trains, industrial
processing and advertising media.
Table 12.1 : Types and Sources of Pollution
Industries produce several undesirable
products including industrial wastes, polluted
waste water, poisonous gases, chemical
residuals, numerous heavy metals, dust,
smoke, etc. Most of the industrial wastes are
disposed off in running water or lakes.
Consequently, poisonous elements reach the
reservoirs, rivers and other water bodies, which
destroy the bio-system of these waters. Major
water polluting industries are leather, pulp and
paper, textiles and chemicals.
River and State Polluted Stretches Nature of Pollution Main Polluters
Ganga
(Uttar Pradesh)
Bihar
and
West Bengal
(a) Downstream of Kanpur
(b) Downstream of Varanasi
(c) Farrakka Barrage
1. Industrial pollution from
towns like Kanpur
2. Domestic wastes from
urban centres
3. Dumping of carcasses in
the river
Table 12.2 : Sources of Pollution in the Ganga and the Yamuna Rivers
Cities of Kanpur, Allahabad,
Varanasi, Patna and Kolkata
release domestic waste into the
river
Y amuna
(Delhi)
and
(Uttar Pradesh)
(a) Delhi to confluence with
Chambal
(b)   Mathura and Agra
1. Extraction of water by
Haryana and Uttar
Pradesh for irrigation
2. Agricultural run off
resulting in high levels of
micro-pollutants in the
Yamuna
3. Domestic and industrial
waste of Delhi flowing
into the river
Delhi dumping its domestic
waste
Various types of chemicals used in
modern agriculture such as inorganic
fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides are also
pollution generating components. These
chemicals are washed down to rivers, lakes
and tanks. These chemicals also infiltrate the
soil to reach the ground water. Fertiliser
induces an increase in the nitrate content of
surface waters. Cultural activities such as
pilgrimage, religious fairs, tourism, etc. also
cause water pollution. In India, almost all
2020-21
Geographical perspective on selected issues and problems     135
surface water sources are contaminated and
unfit for human consumption.
Water pollution is a source of various
water- borne diseases. The diseases commonly
caused due to contaminated water are
diarrhoea, intestinal worms, hepatitis, etc. The
World Health Organization shows that about
one-fourth of the communicable diseases in
India are water-borne. Though river pollution
is common to all rivers, yet pollution of river
Ganga flowing through one of the mot populous
regions of India has caused great concerns
among all. To imporve the condition of the river,
National Mission for Clean Ganga was initiated.
The Namami Gange Programme has been
launched for the same.
Air Pollution
Air pollution is taken as addition of
contaminants, like dust, fumes, gas, fog, odour,
smoke or vapour to the air in substantial
proportion and duration that may be harmful
to flora and fauna and to property. With
increasing use of varieties of fuels as  the
source of energy, there is a marked increase
in emission of toxic gases into the atmosphere
resulting in the pollution of air. Combustion
of fossil fuels, mining and industries are the
main sources of air pollution. These processes
release oxides of sulphur and nitrogen,
hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon
monoxide, lead and asbestos.
Air pollution causes various diseases related
to respiratory, nervous and circulatory systems.
Smog in
Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme Namami Gange Programme
Ganga, as a river, has national importance
but the river requires cleaning by
effectively controlling the pollution for its
water. The Union Government has
launched the ‘Namami Gange
Programme’ with the following objectives:
• developing sewerage treatment
systems in towns,
• monitoring of industrial effluents,
• development of river front,
• afforestation along the bank of increase
biodiversity,
• cleaning of the river surface,
• development of ‘Ganga Grams’ in
Uttarakhand, UP , Bihar , Jharkhand and
West Bengal, and
• creating public awareness to avoid
adding pollutants in  to the river even
in the form of rituals.
2020-21
136 India : People and Economy
from the source of pollution, i.e. industrial
areas, arteries of transportation, airport, etc.
Noise pollution is hazardous in many
metropolitan and big cities in India.
Urban Waste Disposal Urban Waste Disposal Urban Waste Disposal Urban Waste Disposal Urban Waste Disposal
Urban areas are generally marked by
overcrowding, congestion, inadequate facilities
to support the fast growing population and
consequent poor sanitary conditions and foul
air. Environmental pollution by solid wastes
has now got significance because of enormous
growth in the quantity of wastes generated
from various sources. Solid waste refers to a
variety of old and used articles, for example
stained small pieces of metals, broken
glassware, plastic containers, polythene bags,
ash, floppies, CDs, etc., dumped at different
places. These discarded materials are also
termed as refuse, garbage and rubbish, etc.,
and are disposed of from two sources : (i)
household or domestic establishments, and (ii)
industrial or commercial establishments. The
household wastes are disposed off either on
public lands or on private contractors’ sites,
Smoky fog over cities called as urban
smog is caused by atmospheric pollution. It
proves very harmful to human health. Air
pollution can also cause acid rains. Rainwater
analysis of urban environment has indicated
that pH value of the first rain after summer is
always lower than the subsequent rains.
Noise Pollution
Noise pollution refers to the state of
unbearable and uncomfortable to human
beings which is caused by noise from different
sources. This matter has become a serious
concern only in recent years due to a variety
of technological innovations.
The main sources of noise pollution are
various factories, mechanised construction
and demolition works, automobiles and
aircraft, etc. There may be added periodical
but polluting noise from sirens, loudspeakers
used in various festivals, programmes
associated with community activities. The level
of steady noise is measured by sound level
expressed in terms of decibels (dB).
Of all these sources, the biggest nuisance
is the noise produced by traffic, because its
intensity and nature depend upon factors,
such as the type of aircraft, vehicle, train and
the condition of road, as well as, that of vehicle
(in case of automobiles). In sea traffic, the noise
pollution is confined to the harbour due to
loading and unloading activities being carried.
Industries cause noise pollution but with
varying intensity depending upon the type of
industry.
Noise pollution is location specific and its
intensity declines with increase in distance
Fig. 12.2 : Noise monitoring at Panchpatmalai
Bauxite Mine
2020-21
Geographical perspective on selected issues and problems     137
whereas the solid wastes of industrial units
are collected and disposed off through public
(municipal) facilities at low lying public
grounds (landfill areas). The huge turn out of
ashes and debris from industries, thermal
power houses and building constructions or
demolitions have posed problems of serious
consequences. Solid wastes cause health
hazard through creation of obnoxious smell,
and harbouring of flies and rodents, which act
as carriers of diseases like typhoid, diphtheria,
diarrhoea, malaria and cholera, etc. These
wastes cause frequent nuisance as and when
these are carelessly handled, spread by wind
and splittered through rain water.
Concentration of industrial units in and
around urban centres gives rise to disposal of
industrial wastes. The dumping of industrial
waste into rivers leads to water pollution. River
pollution from city-based industries and
untreated sewage leads to serious health
problems downstream.
Urban waste disposal is a serious problem
in India. In metropolitan cities like Mumbai,
Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, etc., about 90
per cent of the solid waste is collected and
disposed. But in most of other cities and towns
Case Study : Case Study : Case Study : Case Study : Case Study : A Role Model to Restore the Ecology and Safeguard A Role Model to Restore the Ecology and Safeguard A Role Model to Restore the Ecology and Safeguard A Role Model to Restore the Ecology and Safeguard A Role Model to Restore the Ecology and Safeguard
Human Health Human Health Human Health Human Health Human Health in Daurala in Daurala in Daurala in Daurala in Daurala
Based on the universal law “Polluter pays”, effort to restore the ecology and safeguard the human health with
people’s participation has taken place in Daurala near Meerut. These efforts are now bearing fruits after a
span of three years when Meerut based NGO had developed a model for ecological restoration. The meeting
of the Daurala Industries officials, NGOs, Government officials and other stakeholders at Meerut has brought
out results. The powerful logics, authentic studies and the pressure of people have brought a new lease of life
to the twelve thousand residents of this village. It was in the year 2003 that the pitiable condition of Dauralaites
drew the attention of the civil society. The groundwater of this village was contaminated with heavy metals.
The reason was that the untreated wastewater of Daurala industries was leaching to the groundwater table.
The NGO conducted a door to door survey of the health status of the residents and came out with a report.
The organisation, the village community and people’s representatives sat together to find out sustainable
solutions to the health problem. The industrialists showed a keen interest towards checking the deteriorating
ecology. The overhead water tank’s capacity in the village was enhanced and a 900m extra pipeline was  laid
to supply potable water to the community. The silted pond of the village was cleaned and recharged by
desilting it. Large quantity of silt was removed paving way to large quantity of water so that it recharged the
aquifers. Rainwater harvesting structures have been constructed at different places which has helped in
diluting the contaminants of the groundwater after the monsoons. 1000 trees have also been planted which
have improved the environment.
in the country, about 30 to 50 per cent of the
waste generated are left uncollected which
accumulate on streets, in open spaces between
houses and in wastelands leading to serious
2020-21
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