Like it or not, but our air is filthy, water is contaminated, hills and lakes are disappearing at an alarming rate!
When Donald Trump called Indian air filthy, we were quick to take umbrage. But what we fail to see is that there is a kernel of truth in it and whether Trump was rude or not, it is high time we take heed of our environmental issues, else a catastrophe awaits India and the world at large. The Delhi air and its poor quality is an old hat now, even a child is aware of its debilitating impacts on public health and ecology. While rampant urbanization had brought economic prosperity, on the one hand, it also resulted in accelerating air and water contamination to an unprecedented level. When scores of new cities and urban centers mushroomed overnight, plastic and other non-biodegradable waste began to increase meteorically. A NITI Aayog report shows that as many as 21 cities in India, including Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, and Hyderabad are on the verge of groundwater depletion by 2020. The Red Hill Lake in Chennai was the main water source that sustained the city and it had been shrinking for the past few years, this in turn has escalated the water scarcity in Chennai. When man-made tall buildings to flaunt his lofty ambitions, it was at the cost of natural resources. Hills and mountains also were not spared. Relentless mining was carried out ruthlessly and injudiciously to meet constructional requirements. The Aravalli Hills in Rajasthan has been abused continuously since 1988. The rising human population had led to unscrupulous deforestation. Accommodating humans was and is still done at the cost of forest life. PM Narendra Modi has been awarded the UN’s Champions of the Earth Award for taking reforms to eliminate single-use plastic and for advocating solar alliances. It is heartwarming and comforting to know that steps are being taken and discussions are being done, but words without action will prove futile.