Cities and its Environment!

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Mon Nov 29, 2021

Urban regions and their dwellers will continue to depend on the biosphere and the environmental services it provides: Surface and groundwater, soil and land, air and forests, wetlands, coasts, and mountain areas. These services include the provision of raw materials and energy, used to produce goods and services, as well as the absorption of waste from human activities.

Today, India stands second in the world in terms of population with a total of 135.26 crores (1.35 billion). Due to the increasing population, environmental services are now under immense stress. There are several problems that arise out of neglect or over-consumption of these environmental services, and they're interlinked with challenges of sanitation, water supply, waste disposal, and health risks. An adequate safe water supply can lead to severe outbreaks of water-borne diseases in the cities. Poor solid waste management and drainage system can lead to floods like that in Mumbai in 2005.

Restoration techniques of certain natural resources are the way out to the replenishment of the environmental services. For example, Navi Mumbai is known as the city of rivers because of the "nallas" and water canals that flow from the Parsik Hills to the main creek and then to the ocean. These canals were neglected during the urbanization of the city which left them polluted and unkempt. This resulted in the building of slums near the banks of these canals that hindered the sanitation of the city. This also led to creating crime-generating pockets of the city. Unkempt places were used for illegal activities and also increased the water pollution of the city. Restoring these canals in terms of cleaning the water, securing the banks of the canals, introducing different public spaces and open spaces around the banks will revitalize the whole city. The funds spent on this development can be then recovered from the increasing land value surrounding these restored environmental spaces. This again would help to generate the economy of the city.

A small part of this initiation began with protecting the mangroves of Navi Mumbai. Similarly, The major cities where the Ganges flows through, Varanasi, Amaranath, and Haridwar are all victims of overconsumption of environmental services. Strict actions and interventions in these areas will help to move a step closer towards a sustainable modern urbanscape.

 

 

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2021 - Fall - Issue 11
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