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India 7th most environmentally hazardous country: study

India has been ranked as seventh most environmentally hazardous country in the world by a new ranking released recently.

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2011 21:37 IST
Chetan Chauhan

India has been ranked as seventh most environmentally hazardous country in the world by a new ranking released recently.

The study is based on evaluation of “absolute” environment impact of 179 countries, whose data was available and has been done by researchers in Harvard, Princeton, Adelaide University and University of Singapore.

Brazil was found to be worst on environmental indicators whereas Singapore was the best. United States was rated second worst and China was ranked third.

India got overall seventh rank primarily for high water pollution, destruction of wildlife habitats and rising carbon dioxide emissions.

The overuse of fertilizers because of high subsidy of urea has earned India second place for environment impact due to fertilizer use. Quoting Wall Street Journal, the study said: “In an effort to boost food production, win farmer votes and encourage domestic fertilizer industry, he government has increased its subsidy of urea fertilizer over the years and now pays about half of the domestic industry’s cost of production.”

A country of over 1.2 billion people was ranked third for water pollution with increasing competition among various sectors, including agriculture, industry and domestic water supply, for its limited water resources. “The competition is leading to this precious resource to dry-up,” the study said.

As per Central Pollution Control Board’s data over 31 % of water resources are highly contaminated and large areas in major rivers such as Ganga and Yamuna are polluted.

Water pollution in India is also a cause for destruction of habitats of wildlife that live on waterways, the study said.

India was ranked eight for threat to its endangered species and marine environment. Its rising carbon dioxide emissions, which causes global warming, were also sighted as alarming for protecting environment. India is now world’s third biggest carbon dioxide emitter.

“There is considerable and mounting evidence that elevated degradation and loss of habitats and species are compromising ecosystems that sustain the quality of life for billions of people worldwide,” said Corey Bradhsaw, the lead author of the study.