‘Environmental Issues in India’ 

Author: Alok Kumar Palai, 3rd Year LLB

The Environment issue in India is a very serious problem which has affected the life of citizens and it is one of the primary causes of disease, health and long-term livelihood impact for India. It’s increasing day to day in a very large amount. Among all the issues India is facing environmental issues is critical. The first and foremost important cause is population explosion. India ranks second in world population ranking. The current population of India is 1,328,166,467 as of Wednesday 3rd August 2016, based on latest United Nation estimates.

Since we have limited resources and due to increasing population these resources are used in a large number which is disturbing the environmental balance. India has made one of the fastest progress in the world in addressing its environmental issues and improving its environmental quality. Still India has long way to go to reach environmental quality similar to those enjoyed developed countries.

Population of India (2016 too Historical)

Year Population Yearly
Yearly Change
2016 1,326,801,576 1.2% 15,751,049
2015 1,311,050,527


1.27% 16,013,205
2010 1,230,984,504 1.47% 17,331,642
2005 1,144,326,293 1.67% 18,169,044
2000 1,053,481,072 1.86% 18,521,218
1995 960,874,982 1.99% 18,054,641
1990 870,601,776 2.17% 17,703,330
1985 782,085,127


2.32% 16,971,076
1980 697,229,745


2.32% 15,105,221
1975 621,703,641 2.33% 13,552,083
1970 553,943,226 2.16% 11,204,591
1965 497,920,270 2.06% 9,651,679
1960 449,661,874 1.9% 8,076,336



The Environmental issues in India are huge. Whether it’s the rapidly dropping water tables, mass deforestation, land degradation or river contamination, India has it all and on a massive scale. Below you can find information on all of India’s most serious environmental problems.


Perhaps the largest of the environmental issues in India facing the people of India is inadequate or lack of access to vital fresh water resources. As India’s industries get bigger so will the amount of water they require and the amounts are already beginning to spiral. As an example I use the Coca cola factory which was accused for years of messing up an entire eco system. By simply diverting all the water to their factory, millions of people went without. The company are also accused of causing huge droughts and contamination to a massive area by exploiting an excessive amount of ground water and then replacing it with toxic discharge. Of course, Coca Cola is a big famous company and that is why this came to news but I have no doubt that there are a million examples of similar things happening all over India.

Years of exploitation and extraction of groundwater in India has caused the national water table to suddenly and very dramatically drop. Considering that 85% of rural drinking water and 55% of urban water comes from underground sources, this seems to me a very urgent problem as literally hundreds of millions of people could be left without water…does it even bear thinking about!

The rivers are on the front line of pollution in India. Millions of people depend on them for their livelihoods but they are slowly being polluted and destroyed by sewage, chemicals and other agricultural and industrial waste. These are some of the most polluted rivers in the world but little seems to be to stem the incessant destruction.


The story of deforestation is another of the highly serious environmental issues in India. It is predicted that almost 5.3 Million hectares of forest have been destroyed since the independence. Most of it being chopped down for housing, industrialisation and river projects. It is estimated that the number of Mangrove Forests have more than halved in the last 20 years.

The government soon recognized the importance that these forests hold for the conservation of soil and put forward a range of polices trying to curb the destruction; of course, nothing has really changed and thousands of acres are destroyed every year with nothing in the way of ‘replacement’. Poor management and abuse of power are again the increasingly sad cause behind the mass deforestation of India, some call it greed. Protected areas are largely declassified so that commercial activities can take place but new areas are not reclassified. Poaching is another factor, people actually coming in and steeling trees and one of the final blows to the forest of India who already seem to have lost the battle is the invasion of foreign tree species such as Eucalyptus etc.


India now has one of the worst qualities of air in the world. Without a doubt the main contributor of air pollution in India is the transport system. In the big cities like Delhi and Mumbai, millions of old and very dirty diesel engines churn out millions of tonnes more sulphur than their western equivalents partly because of being old and partly because of the diesel. As a result, the asthma rate for children in some of the larger cities is now at %50 and rising fast.

Because of the varied causes and consequences surrounding this topic, I’ve devoted a whole page to India air pollution.


I have already touched on the massive problem of waste disposal but I intend to go into it more here. It seems that some areas are simply fed up with the lack of Government intervention and are using there initiatives. As an example I use some of the towns and villages in Kerala who are seeing a return to the old paper bags from plastic ones.

As I am sure you know, plastic isn’t in any urgency to degrade but the people of India don’t seem to recognise this as they throw every unwanted item onto the floor wherever they are. Of course, the victims of this environmental issues in India are the future generations and the animals. The holy cows that are so integral to Indian life are slowly being killed from the huge amount of plastic bags they consume that eventually rap around their insides.

On A brighter note, solar power in India is going through a boom along with several other environmentally friendly power sources.


Source: Worldmeters (www.Worldometers.info) Chart of Population in India.

Elaboration of data by United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division.








This Article was prepared or accomplished by Alok Kumar Palai in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the LawOF.in

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