Chapter 12. Geographical Perspective on Selected Issues and Problems

Environmental Pollution
• discharge of substances and energy from waste products of human activity is referred to as environmental pollution. It comes in a variety of forms. As a result, they are categorised according to medium through which pollutants are transported and disseminated.
• classification of pollution is as follows:
(1) Air pollution
(2) Noise pollution
(3) Water pollution
(4) Land pollution

Air Pollution
• Air pollution is defined as a high concentration of contaminants in air for an extended period of time, such as dust, fumes, gas, fog, stink, smoke, or vapour, which can be damaging to flora and wildlife as well as property.
• Because of increased use of various fuels for energy in many industries, there is an increase in emission of harmful gases into atmosphere, resulting in air pollution.
• Combustion of fossil fuels, mining, & businesses that generate sulphur and nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead, & asbestos are main contributors to air pollution.

Effects of Air Pollution
• effects of air pollution are as follows:
(1) Many disorders of respiratory, neurological, and circulatory systems are caused by pollution in air we breathe.
(2) hazy fog that blankets cities is called urban smog, and it is caused by air pollution. Human health is harmed as a result of it.
(3) Acid rain is a result of pollution in atmosphere. In metropolitan locations, first rain after summer always has a high acidic character to it, with a lower pH than following rain.

Noise Pollution
• Noise pollution is defined as noise that causes a state that is intolerable and unpleasant for humans. This noise might come from a variety of places. This is a relatively new phenomenon that only became a serious concern following a series of technological advancements. sound level stated in decibels is used to determine level of steady noise [dB].
• Factories, mechanised building and demolition operations, autos, & airplanes are all major causes of noise pollution. Aside from this, there are ongoing sources of noise pollution, such as sirens, loudspeakers used in various festivals and programmes, and other community events. Traffic noise is a significant cause of noise pollution. This is really inconvenient for folks.
• intensity and nature of traffic noise is determined by a number of elements, including type of vehicle [plane, railway vehicle.]/road condition, and vehicle condition [in case of automobiles].
• Because of container loading and unloading activities, noise pollution is limited at harbour in marine traffic. Noise pollution from factories is a severe issue, although severity of problem varies depending on factors such as type of industry, sorts of machines and tools used, and so on.
• As distance between source of pollution [industrial districts, traffic arteries, airports.] grows, severity of noise pollution reduces. As a result, noise pollution is site dependent.

Effects of Noise Pollution
• In many Indian urban and large towns, noise pollution is a major cause of anxiety, tension, & other mental difficulties and disorders.

Water Pollution
• A number of factors, such as indiscriminate water usage by a rapidly rising population and rise of industries, have a significant impact on water quality. As all water sources contain minute amounts of suspended particles, and organic and inorganic components, no surface water can be found in its purest form in rivers, canals, lakes, & other bodies of water. When amount of these compounds in water grows, it becomes polluted. It loses its ability to purify itself, making it unsuitable for human usage.
• Water contamination is caused by two factors:
Natural: Water pollution is caused by natural factors such as erosion, landslides, plant & animal degradation and decomposition, and so on.
Human: Human activities such as industrial, agricultural, and cultural activities pollute water. Human-caused water contamination is a big concern in today’s world. Pollution is caused by industrial activity.

Pollution Types Pollution Involved Sources of Pollution
Air Pollution Oxides of sulphur [SO2, SO3], Oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydro-carbon, ammonia, lead, aldehydes asbestos and beryllium. Combustion of coal, petrol & diesel, industrial processes, solid waste disposal, sewage disposal.
Water Pollution Odour, dissolved & suspended solids, ammonia & urea, nitrate & nitrites, chloride, fluoride, carbonates, oil & grease, insecticide and pesticide residue, tannin, coliform MPM [bacterial count] sulphates and sulphides, heavy metals for example lead, arsenic, mercury, manganese, etc,. radioactive substance. Sewage disposal, urban run-off, toxic effluents from industries, run off over cultivated land and from nuclear power plants.
Land Pollution Human and animal excreta, viruses & bacteria, garbage & vectors therein, pesticides and fertiliser-residue alkalinity fluorides, radio-active substance. Improper human activities, disposal of untreated industrial waste, use of pesticides and fertilisers.
Noise Pollution High level of noise above a tolerance level. Aircraft, automobiles, trains, industrial processing and advertising media.

• Most industrial wastes, such as contaminated waste water, poisonous gases, chemical residues, many heavy metals, dust, smoke, & other contaminants, are discharged into running water, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, & other bodies of water, destroying biosystem of these waters. leather, pulp & paper, textiles, & chemicals sectors are among worst offenders.
• Chemicals such as inorganic fertilisers, insecticides, and herbicides are widely used in agriculture today. By penetrating into soil, these pollutants pollutes surface water such as rivers, lakes, & tanks, as well as groundwater. amount of nitrate in surface waters increases as a result of these fertilisers. Water contamination is caused by cultural activities such as pilgrimages, religious fairs, tourism, & so on. In India, almost all surface water sources are contaminated and unfit for human consumption.

Urban Waste Disposal
• Urban areas have too many people, too much traffic, a growing population, and not enough infrastructure and services to support them. They also have poor sanitation, dirty air, and other problems. Mismanaging solid waste and pollution it causes has become a big problem. Solid wastes are a bunch of old and used things that people throw away in different places, like rusty bits of metal, broken glassware, stained plastic containers, polythene bags, ashes, floppies, CDs, and so on. These unwanted items, which are also called rejects, junk, and rubbish, come from two different types of places: homes and businesses. Garbage from homes is thrown away on public land or at sites of private contractors. Industrial solid wastes are dumped on low-lying public land by public facilities [landfill areas]. Industries, thermal power plants, building and tearing down of buildings, and other things all add to amount of ashes and debris in solid wastes.
• More industrial waste is being thrown away because more factories are being built in and around cities. When it comes to trash, small towns and cities have a harder time than bigger cities do all over country. Around 90% of solid garbage is picked up and thrown away successfully in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, and other large cities. In other towns and cities across country, 30–50% of solid waste is not picked up and thrown away right way. This is a big problem because it builds up on streets, between houses, and in wastelands, where it can cause a number of health problems.

Impacts of Improper Management of Solid wastes
• Improper management of solid wastes has following impacts:
(1) Solid wastes are hazardous to human health and can lead to a variety of illnesses. It emits a foul odour and is home to insects and rodents that can spread diseases such as typhoid, diphtheria, diarrhoea, malaria, cholera, & many others.
(2) If solid waste is not properly managed, it can quickly become an annoyance. Wind and rainwater can split it, causing individuals discomfort.
(3) Dumping industrial solid waste into bodies of water can pollute them. Drains transporting untreated sewage cause a variety of health issues.
(4) By slow fermentation, untreated garbage releases numerous toxic biogases such as methane into atmosphere. These wastes are resources because they may be used to generate energy. problem of energy, as well as its management in metropolitan areas, could be handled by composing these wastes.

Rural-Urban Migration
• People move from rural to urban areas for a variety of reasons, including strong labour demand in urban areas, limited work prospects in rural areas, and differences in development between rural and urban areas. Smaller and medium cities have a few prospects, forcing people to skip them and head straight to megacities to make a living.
• majority of daily wage workers, such as welders, carpenters, and others, go to other cities for employment on a regular basis and send remittances to their families for daily consumption, health care, and kids education, among other things. This has transformed their precarious circumstance into something more manageable. Simultaneously, due to their temporary and movable employment status, these workers and their families are experiencing sorrow of separation from their loved ones.
• Assimilation to new culture and environment can be challenging for these workers at some times. Because of these low-wage menial employments in informal sector in metropolitan regions, wives are left behind in rural areas to take care of children and elderly. As a result, males dominate ruralurban migratory stream.

Trends of Urbanisation in World
• Approximately 54% of world’s population of 7 billion [2011] lives in urban areas. This share of population living in cities is expected to rise in future. This percentage is expected to increase by 1.44% every year between 2025 and 2030. This large urban population will put pressure on governments to improve infrastructure in urban areas in order to provide a standard of living.
• By 2050, it is expected that two-thirds of world’s population would live in cities. It would put a lot of strain on existing infrastructure and sanitation, as well as on health, crime, & urban poverty.
• following are some of variables that contribute to expansion of urban population:
(1) Natural increase – When birth rate exceeds death rate.
(2) Net in-migration is a term used to describe movement of people from different parts of country.
(3) Previously rural settlements are now included in definition of urban regions.
• According to estimates, India’s urban population expanded by approximately 60% after 1961. Ruralurban migration is responsible for about 29% of this growth.

Problems of Slums
• two concepts of urban or urban centres and rural settlement geography are defined by settlement geography. In addition, they are defined differently in each country.
• These two are distinct in terms of their functions, yet they are sometimes interdependent. These two notions are separated in terms of their cultural, economic, & technological characteristics.
• According to 2001 census, roughly 72% of India’s population lives in rural areas [according to census 2011, rural population is 68.84% ]. majority of these rural areas are still in poor condition and only fulfil basic needs.
• Villages, according to Mahatma Gandhi, are ideal democracies. These serve as a complement to city’s core, forming its hinterland.
• In terms of socioeconomic, political, and cultural development, urban regions are more developed than other locations.
• Farm houses, a high income of individuals and their communities, broad roads, street lights, water & sanitation facilities, lawns, well-developed green belts, parks, playgrounds, and other amenities, as well as provisions for individual security and privacy, can all be found in urban areas.
• Apart from these attractions, cities have slums, jhuggi jhopari’ clusters, and shanty-structure colonies.
• These are urban regions that are environmentally unsuitable and deteriorating. These are occupied by migrants who have been compelled to migrate from rural to urban regions in search of work and a better life. However, due to high rent and land expenses, people were unable to afford suitable houses and began to dwell in these regions.

Characteristics of Slums
• Slums have following characteristics:
(1) Slums are least desirable residential neighbourhoods because they have broken down houses, poor sanitary conditions, inadequate ventilation, and lack of essential amenities such as drinking water, light, & bathroom facilities, among other things.
(2) Slums are densely populated and contain many narrow street patterns that are vulnerable to fire.
(3) majority of slum inhabitants are employed in low-wage, high-risk, and unorganised sectors of urban economy.
(4) They confront a variety of health issues, including hunger, sickness, & disease susceptibility. Because of their limited income, they are unable to send their children to school to receive an education.
(5) Poverty makes residents subject to drug misuse, drunkenness, criminality, vandalism, escapism, apathy, & social marginalisation.

Land Degradation
• scarcity of agricultural land, as well as decline of its quality, both put pressure on it. Land degradation is caused by soil erosion, water logging, salinization, and alkalinization, which reduces lands productivity. Land degradation is a term that refers to a temporary or permanent decrease in a land’s productive capability.
• Wasteland is not always synonymous with degraded terrain. However, if deterioration process is not controlled, degraded land could become a wasteland. Land degradation is caused by both natural and manmade activities.

Classification of Wastelands
• National Remote Sensing Agency [NRSA]: This is an organisation in India that is in charge of classifying wastelands. It uses remote sensing techniques to classify wastelands based on processes that formed them.
• Wasteland Caused by Natural Agents: Natural wastelands include gullied/ravenous land, desertic or coastal sand, barren rocky places, steep sloping grounds, glacial areas, and so on. These are referred to as ‘wastelands’ created by natural forces.
• Wasteland Caused by Natural as well as Human: This category includes waterlogged and marshy places, land impacted by salinity and alkalinity, and land with and without scrubs that has been degraded by natural and human sources.
• Wastelands Caused by Man-made Processes: Human action has degraded a variety of wastelands, including shifting agricultural areas, degraded land under plantation crops, degraded woods, degraded pastures, and mining and industrial wastelands.

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