NEW DELHI : The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) released the findings of the TERI Environmental Survey 2015 today. The survey aims to gauge the perception, awareness, opinion and behavior of people towards environment in Indian cities.
This year’s survey covered seven river cities in the country, namely: Delhi on River Yamuna, Cuttack on River Mahanadi, Dibrugarh on River Brahmaputra, Jabalpur on River Narmada, Surat on River Tapti, Varanasi on River Ganga, and Vijayawada on River Krishna. The survey was divided into three sub-sections – overall environment, health and environment and environment in river cities.
Launching the findings, Dr Leena Srivastava, Acting Director-General, TERI said “People’s perceptions may or may not reflect reality; but they do reflect their confidence levels in governments, their engagement with common cause issues and their daily fears”
Shri Prakash, Distinguished Fellow, TERI said “The report clearly brings out the deep concern of people for saving environment irrespective of age, income level and educational standard. Also, the successive annual environmental surveys indicate a growing majority of the people who believe that the development and environment protection should be given equal emphasis and not pitted against each other”
Environment in River Cities
The survey assessed the perception of the people about the overall quality of river water. 46 per cent of the respondents believed that the overall water quality of the river in their city was poor, followed by 35 per cent and 18 per cent who identified it as fair and good, respectively.
The odor in the surrounding areas of river was perceived to have worsened by 56 per cent of the respondents. 24 per cent said there was no change, and 17 per cent said that it had become better.86 per cent of the respondents affirmed that it was not safe to drink river water without treatment.
93 per cent of the respondents identified that city sewerage is a threat to the river , and 92 per cent believed that the sewage water, before being discharged into the river should be treated properly. 78 per cent of the respondents affirmed that there had been an increase in the amount of effluents dumped into the river in the last one year, though 64 per cent of all the respondents agreed that the effluents were being dumped are according to government norms.
60 percent of respondents perceived worsening of air quality and tree cover/green cover in their area of the city. 36 per cent of the respondents in case of drinking water availability and 29 per cent of the respondents each in case of drinking water quality and waste management perceived an improvement over the past five years. Over 30 per cent of the respondents observed no changes in surface water and ground water (quality and availability).
72 per cent of the respondents strongly agreed to the statement that climate change directly impacts humans, while 18 per cent ‘somewhat agreed’.
34 per cent of the respondents felt that no government policies existed for air pollution, whereas 27 per cent felt that these existed but were not well implemented, followed by 19 per cent who were not aware about any such existing policies/legislations.
For water pollution, including wastewater treatment, 17 per cent affirmed that policies or legislations existed and were well implemented. For water supply, 28 per cent held the opinion that they were well implemented, while 24 per cent felt that these policies existed but were not well implemented.In case of climate change, 45 per cent of the respondents opined there were no existing government policies/ legislations and 38 per cent of the respondents were not aware if policies/legislations existed. 78 per cent of the respondents were optimistic about the success of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ in improving the quality of the rivers.
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