- 1 Deforestation – Why Wetlands Are Called the Nature’s Kidney?
- 1.1 Causes of Deforestation
- 1.2 Effects of Deforestation
- 1.3 Forest Conservation and Management
- 1.4 Protection or Conservation Forestry
- 1.5 Production or Commercial Forestry
- 1.6 Earth Summit
- 1.7 World Summit
- 1.8 Green Bench
- 1.9 Pollution Control Board (PCB)
- 1.10 Wetland as Nature’s Kidney
- 1.11 Functions of Wetland
- 1.12 Importance of Wetland
- 1.13 Ramsar Site
- 1.14 Ramsar Convention
- 1.15 Success Stories Addressing Environmental Issues
- 1.16 A. Chipko Movement
- 1.17 B. Dasholi Gram Swarajya Mandal (DGSM) Movement
- 1.18 C. Silent Valley
- 1.19 D. Amrita Devi Bishnoi Movement
- 1.20 E. Contribution of Ahmed Khan of Bangalore
Biology Topics related to disease and health provide critical insights into human physiology and medicine.
Deforestation – Why Wetlands Are Called the Nature’s Kidney?
Deforestation is the removal, decrease, or deterioration of forest cover of an area. It is a threat to the quality of life, the country’s economy, and future development. The current rate of deforestation is estimated to be more than 10 million ha/year. If this rate continues, it is feared that the remaining tropical forest may disappear within a century.
Causes of Deforestation
The main causes are as follows:
1. Explosion of Human Population:
Due to the overpopulation of human beings, the requirement for timber, fuel, paper, wood, etc. has increased. Man has cleared large areas of forests for agriculture, housing, factories, roads, and railway tracks. Construction of roads along the mountains which cover nearly 30,000 km in ecologically fragile areas is another cause of forest degradation. Mining and quarrying have also contributed to the large-scale felling of trees.
2. Jhuming (Shifting Cultivation):
It is a slash and bum agriculture method of tribals. To obtain land for cultivation an area is cleared by felling trees and then the area is burnt. Such an area is rich in minerals due to the ash of the burnt vegetation. Cultivation is carried out for 2-3 years. The area is then abandoned. The abandoned area becomes the center of invasion by weeds, soil erosion, and other effects of deforestation.
3. Early Civilisation:
Early civilization was based on large herds of cattle, agriculture, and extensive use of timber. Firewood was the only source of energy. Therefore, forests were extensively exploited and denuded.
4. Forest Fires:
They are both natural and anthropogenic. Fire destroys a lot of forest areas. Large-scale forest fires engulfing an area of 4000 km2 have occured in Indonesia during 1983 and 1997. In the dry summer season, such fires are of common occurrence in H.R. and other areas.
5. Hydroelectric Projects:
Dams, reservoirs, and hydroelectric projects submerge forest tracts, killing all plants and animals.
India with 2.4% geographical area has some 500 million livestock population. The grazing area is only 13 million hectares where one hectare of land supports only 6 livestock heads. The remaining livestock naturally graze in forests trampling seedlings and causing compaction of soil. The latter reduces water storing capacity and increases runoff.
7. Quarrying and Mining:
The two are carried out generally in hilly and forest areas. They spoil vegetation and cause deforestation.
Canals passing through forest areas kill many trees due to seepage of water. Moreover, during the construction of canals through forest areas many of the forest trees along the long route of canals were destructed.
Effects of Deforestation
1. Shrinking Fuelwood:
In the Himalayas, a woman spends half a day collecting fuel. In India, the availability of fuel-wood is 58 million m3/yr against the requirement of 300 million m3/yr.
2. Reduced Timber:
There is a decreased availability of timber and other forest products.
3. Change in Climate:
Deforestation results reduction in intensity and periodicity of rainfall. The summers become hotter and the winters colder. In drier regions, it results in the formation of deserts.
4. Soil Erosion:
In the mountains, forests are essential for trapping, absorption of precipitation, and storage of water. The water is released slowly. In the absence of forest cover rain water is not retained in the hills. Fast-flowing water erodes topsoil. It is estimated that 6000 million tonnes of topsoil is lost annually in India due to water erosion in the absence of forest cover.
5. Flash Floods:
Soil is unable to retain much rainwater. Flash floods occur during the rainy season. 400 million people are affected by floods in the Indian subcontinent.
The mud carried by rivers during the rainy season is deposited in water reservoirs and river beds. The storage capacity of water reservoirs decreases. Siltation of river beds results in a change of water courses.
According to Spencer (1999), mangroves help dissipate the energy of cyclones coming from the sea. The cyclone hitting Orissa in 1999 is believed to be due to the indiscriminate destruction of mangroves in the Orissa Coastline.
There is very little water in rivers during the dry season causing drought.
9. Global Warming:
Deforestation increases atmospheric CO2 content by releasing carbon stored in organic matter. As CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it contributes to global warming.
10. Indigenous People:
Tribals living in forests depend upon forests for their survival and culture. Deforestation leads to the destruction of their culture and living styles.
11. Loss of Biodiversity and Germplasm:
Deforestation leads to the extinction of many species of plants, animals, and microorganisms. Extinction of many species means loss of biodiversity and genetic resources which would never be replaced in nature.
Forest Conservation and Management
Forest conservation and management programmes are based on two basic principles.
- Sustainable supply of tree products and services to people and industry.
- Maintenance of long-term ecological balance through protection, restoration, and conservation of forest cover.
Forest Conservation Programmes Include the Following Measures
- A tree removed from the forest for any purpose must be replaced by a new tree plantation.
- Afforestation: It is growing forest over an area where no forest existed earlier. A special programme of planting trees called Van Mahotsava is held every year in our country.
- Reforestation: It is restoring of forest cover over an area where forest existed earlier but was removed in the past. At many places village and tribal communities are being involved in the development and protection of degraded forests.
- Maximum economy should be observed in the use of timber and fuel wood by minimizing the wastage.
- The use of firewood should be discouraged and alternative sources of energy for cooking such as biogas, natural gas, etc. should be made available.
- Forest should be protected from fire. Modern firefighting equipment should be used to extinguish accidental forest fires.
- Grazing of cattle in the forests should be discouraged.
- Modern methods of forest management should be adopted. These include the use of irrigation, fertilizers, bacterial and mycorrhizal inoculation, disease and pest management, control of weeds, and breeding of elite trees by tissue culture techniques.
Two strategies are adopted for meeting the requirement of forest products – Protection or conservation forestry and Production or commercial forestry.
Protection or Conservation Forestry
It includes the following:
- Degraded forests are mended through silvicultural practices.
- The forests are allowed to recoup before allowing their exploitation.
- Certain forests included under sanctuaries and national parks are not allowed to be exploited.
- Well-stocked and mature forests are exploited scientifically.
Production or Commercial Forestry
It is a plantation of useful trees and shrubs for meeting commercial requirements without causing the denudation of natural forests. Generally growing trees are raised using modern techniques. It includes social forestry, urban forestry, agroforestry, and production plantation.
1. Social forestry:
Plantation of fast-growing multipurpose plants in common village lands for meeting requirements of fodder, firewood, and small-scale timber.
2. Urban Forestry:
Plantation of fruit, ornamental plants, and shade-bearing plants in urban areas reduces pollution and ultimately yields wood.
This program includes the plantation of woody species in combination with herbaceous crops, either at the same time or in the time sequence. Two well-known such systems include the Taungya system and Jhum cultivation. The Taungya system involves growing agricultural crops between rows of planted trees (Sal, Teak, etc). The jhum or shifting cultivation is a traditional agroforestry system that involves the felling and burning of forests followed by the cultivation of crops for a few years, and abandoning cultivation to allow the forest’s regrowth.
4. Production Plantation:
It is the growing of industrially required trees on specific, either fallow or free-grazing lands. Production plantation decreases pressure on real forests.
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit (or Eco ’92) was a major conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3rd June to 14th June 1992. Among participating 178 governments, 118 governments sent their heads of state or government, and some 2400 representatives of NGOs attended. The first United Nations Conference on Environment & Development was an international conference, held in Stockholm, Sweden, from 5th June to 16th June 1972, where 113 countries, 19 inter-governmental agencies, and more than 400 NGOs had attended. One of the outcomes of the conference was the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Issues Addressed
The Issues Addressed Included:
- Systemic scrutiny of patterns of production (mainly toxic components, like gasoline or poisonous waste).
- Alternative sources of energy to replace the use of fossil fuels which are responsible for global climate change.
- Reduce vehicle emissions, congestion in cities, and the health problems caused by polluted air and smog.
- The growing scarcity of water.
- An important achievement was an agreement on climate change convention i.e., Kyoto Protocol.
The Earth Summit resulted in the Following Documents
- Rio Declaration on Environment & Development.
- Convention on Biological Diversity.
- Forest Principles.
- Framework Convention of Climate Change.
Johannesburg Summit 2002 – the World Summit on Sustainable Development – brought together tens of thousands of participants, including heads of State and Government, national delegates and leaders from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses, and other major groups to focus the world’s attention, and direct action Toward meeting difficult challenges, including improving people’s lives and conserving our natural resources in a world that is growing in population, with ever-increasing demands for food, water, shelter, sanitation, energy, health services and economic security.
The Issues of the World Summit
A broader agenda than the Rio Summit in 1992, the summit in Johannesburg also included a huge number of delegates. Various key issues were addressed, including:
- Water quality and availability
- Cleaner energy
- Good Governance
- Production and Consumption
- Oceans and Fisheries
Other related issues such as globalization, and women’s rights were also discussed.
‘Green Bench’ is a separate court of justice, where it deals with ‘Greeneries’ or Green Environment. This Green Bench was established for the sake of our Green Earth or our natural environment. The Supreme Court of India felt the need to establish the Green Benches in different High Courts of India with the objective of dealing with the environmental issues in the state. The Green Bench was established in the Calcutta High Court and started functioning in June 1996. Green Bench dealt with the following cases upto 2000.
These cases are related to various kinds of environmental issues. Such as
- Industries without a pollution control system and allegedly violating norms.
- Illegal filing of waterbodies or tanks.
- Cutting of trees.
- Biomedical wastes and health hazards.
- Dumping of garbage on streets and non-clearance.
- Pollution is generated from morgues in the state.
- Regeneration of lakes and parks.
The specialty of this Green Bench is that an appeal/prayer can only be made by a written application instead of a law-abiding appeal.
Pollution Control Board (PCB)
The Pollution Control Board in India was first established as the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in September 1974 under the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
Functions of CPCB (Information Source: CPCB & WBPCB)
- Advise the Central Govt, on any matter concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution and improvement of the quality of air.
- Plan and execute nationwide programmes for the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution.
- Coordinate the activities of the State Board and resolve disputes among them.
- Provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigation and research relating to the problems of water and air pollution and for their prevention, and control of abatement.
- Plan and organize training of persons engaged in the program on the prevention, control, or abatement of water and air pollution.
- Organize through mass media, a comprehensive mass awareness program on the prevention, control, or abatement of water and air pollution.
- Collect, compile, and publish technical and statistical data relating to water and air pollution and the measures devised for their effective prevention, control, or abatement.
- Prepare manuals, codes, and guidelines relating to the treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents as well as for stack gas cleaning devices, stacks, and ducts.
- Disseminate information in respect of matters relating to water and air pollution and their prevention and control.
- Lay down, modify, or annul in consultation with the State Governments concerned, the standards for stream or well and lay down the standards for the quality of air.
- Perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Government of India.
Wetland as Nature’s Kidney
A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other landforms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control carbon sink, and shoreline stability. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life.
Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. In physical geography, a wetland is an environment at the interface between truly terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic systems making them inherently different from each other yet highly dependent on both. Wetlands are commonly referred to as nature’s kidneys. One essential component of the wetland is its ability to slow the movement of upland runoff from rain and snow, which allows for excess nutrients and sediment to settle out of the water column and be sequestered by aquatic vegetation.
Types of Wetland:
A patch of land that develops pools of water after a rain storm would not be considered a ‘wetland’, even though the land is wet. Wetlands have unique characteristics: they are generally distinguished from other water bodies or landforms based on their water level and on the types of plants that live within them. Wetlands are characterized as having a water table that stands at or near the land surface for a long enough period each year to support aquatic plants.
The most important factor producing wetlands is flooding. The duration of flooding determines whether the resulting wetland has aquatic, marsh or swamp vegetation. Other important factors include fertility, natural disturbance, competition, herbivory, burial, and salinity. When peat accumulates, bogs and fens arise.
Characteristics of Ecology
Wetlands vary widely due to local and regional differences in topography, hydrology, vegetation, and other factors, including human involvement. Wetlands can be divided into two main classes. They are tidal and non-tidal areas. Flora and Fauna present in Wetland:
There are four main groups of hydrophytes that are found in wetland systems throughout the world. Submerged wetland vegetation can grow in saline and fresh-water conditions. Some species have underwater flowers, while others have long stems to allow the flowers to reach the surface. Submerged species provide a food source for native fauna, a habitat for invertebrates, and also possess filtration capabilities. Examples include seagrasses and eelgrass.
Floating water plants or floating vegetation is usually small, like arrow arum (Peltandra virginica).
Fish are more dependent on wetland ecosystems than any other type of habitat. Seventy-five percent of the United States commercial fish and shellfish stocks depend solely on estuaries to survive. Tropical fish species need mangroves for critical hatchery and nursery grounds and the coral reef system for food.
Amphibians such as frogs need both terrestrial and aquatic habitats in which to reproduce and feed. While tadpoles control algal populations, adult frogs forage on insects. Frogs are used as an indicator of ecosystem health due to their thin skin which absorbs both nutrients and toxins from the surrounding environment resulting in an above-average extinction rate in unfavorable and polluted environmental conditions.
Reptiles such as alligators and crocodiles are common reptilian species. Alligators are found in freshwater along with the freshwater species of the crocodile. The saltwater crocodile is found in estuaries and snakes, lizards and turtles also can be seen throughout wetlands. Snapping turtles are one of the many kinds of turtles found in wetlands. Mammals include numerous species of small mammals in addition to large herbivorous and apex species such as the beaver, swamp rabbit, and Florida panther, which live within and around wetlands. The wetland ecosystem attracts mammals due to its prominent seeds and vegetation sources, abundant populations of invertebrates, small reptiles, and amphibians.
Functions of Wetland
Wetlands have different important functions that benefit people and wildlife.
- Wetland provides a habitat for a wide variety and number of wildlife and plants.
- It filters, cleans, and stores water. So, wetland acts like kidneys for other ecosystems.
- It collects and holds flood waters.
- Absorb atmospheric acid and tidal forces.
- Provide places of beauty and many recreational activities.
Wetlands absorb water like sponges by holding flood waters and keeping rivers at normal levels. It filters and purifies water as it flows through the wetland system.
Importance of Wetland
1. Nature’s Kidney:
Natural wetlands have often been undervalued and regarded as areas to be drained for agricultural use of urban development. However, wetland is equivalent to the human kidney, they purify and slow the flow of water off the land controlling flood and pollutants.
Hydrological functions include long-term and short-term water storage, subsurface water storage, and moderation of groundwater flow or discharge.
Nutrient cycling, retention of particulates, removal of imported elements and compounds, and the import and export of organic are all bio-geochemical functions of wetlands. Wetlands remove nutrients from surface and ground water by filtering and by converting nutrients from unavailable forms.
4. Wildlife Habitat:
Wetland provides a safe and fresh environment for different species like fish, birds, insects, etc. It also includes the mallard duck, the sickleback fish, mangroves, and water moccasins.
5. Plant Habitat:
Like animals, there are a number of plant communities that will only survive in the unique environmental conditions of wetland, e.g., Mangroves establish themselves in the shallower water upslope from the mudflats. Mangroves further stabilize sediment and over time increase the soil level. This results in less tidal movement and the development of salt marshes.
6. Value to Humans:
Wetlands are specifically valuable to people as places for recreational and educational activities, such as hunting, fishing, camping, and wildlife observation.
A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. It is known as the convention on wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the convention was signed in 1971. The Convention on Wetlands, known as the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental environmental treaty established in 1971 by UNESCO and coming into force in 1975. It provides for national action and international cooperation regarding the conservation of wetlands and the wise sustainable use of their resources. Ramsar identifies wetlands of international importance, especially those providing waterfowl habitat. In 2016 there were 2,231 Ramsar Sites, protecting 214,936,005 hectares (531,118,440 acres). 169 national governments are currently participating. The Ramsar classification system for wetland type is a wetland classification developed within the Ramsar convention on the main type of wetlands.
Under the Ramsar International Wetland Conservation Treaty, wetlands are defined as follows:
Wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water; whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water, the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters. Wetlands may incorporate riparian and coastal zones adjacent to the wetlands and islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six meters at low tide lying within the wetlands. According to the Ramsar Convention, the economic worth of the ecosystem services provided to society is that naturally functioning wetland is frequently much greater than the perceived benefits of converting them to more valuable intensive land use particularly as the profits from the unsustainable use often go to relatively few individuals or corporations, rather than being shared by society as a whole. The Ramsar Convention on wetlands importance especially on waterfowl habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
Ramsar Wetlands Sites (As on December 2020):
Success Stories Addressing Environmental Issues
The three major movements worth mentioning, about saving our environment are the Chipko Movement, Dasholi Gram Swarajya Mandal (DGSM) Movement, Silent Valley or Amrita Devi Bishonoi (Laipur) Movements.
A. Chipko Movement
The word “Chipko” means “to hug”. This movement was the greatest ever mass movement against the rapid felling of trees and the destruction of nature. It was initiated in 1972, in the village named Reni in the Chamoli District of Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand. The illiterate village tribals, especially women, hugged the trees and stopped cutting off them, again on 24 April 1973, in a village named Gopeshwar in Allahabad. Simon’s company undertook the act of cutting 300 trees to make tennis rackets. Villagers hugged the trees and shouted slogans and heated drums to drive away the Thikadars of the company. After a week or so, they again tried to fall the trees in Rampur village 80 km away from Reni, but they failed there too. In 1978, the police shot at the tribals who tried to protect the trees from some greedy traders.
A leader of the movement in 1974, was a 50-year-old woman Gouri Devi, who led 27 other women of the tribe to undertake this ‘Chipko Andolan’. “Maatu hamru, paani hamru, hamra hi chhan yi baun bhi…. Pitron na lagai baun, hamunahi to bachon bhi”: Soil ours, water ours, ours are these forests….. Our forefathers raised them, it’s we who must protect them. – Old Chipko Song (Garhwali language).
Chipko movement mainly characterized the fact that even illiterate tribal especially women had realized that trees are the wealth of mother Nature, and uncontrolled felling of trees would destabilize the balance of Nature. Chipko movement had the motto of 5-F’s that Food, Fodder, Fuel, Fibre, and fertilizer-producing trees should be grown and saved from destruction.
Afterward, Sunderlal Bahuguna led the movement in Tehri, Garhwal region, which again revolutionized the awareness, among people. In 1987, the Chipko movement was awarded with ‘Right Livelihood Award’. Apart from that, Chandi Prasad Bhatt was awarded ‘Ramon Magsaysay Award’ in 1982, and Sunderlal Bahuguna was awarded the “Padma Vibhushan” in 2009.
B. Dasholi Gram Swarajya Mandal (DGSM) Movement
In 1963, after the end of the Indo-China duel, the state of Uttar Pradesh integrated eight different districts of the Himalayas. Therefore, to meet the demand for land to construct locality, bridges, offices, etc, a large number of trees were cut down. As a result, in the year 1970, floods occurred in more than 100 square kilometers of land and killed more than 200 people.
In 1964, an organization named Dasholi Gram Swarajya Mandal was founded under the leadership of Chandi Prasad Bhatt. This organization helped the backward tribal people to earn their living using forest resources. One of the jobs of this organization was to produce resin and terpene oil from Acer tree. They once asked for permission from the forest department to cut down a few Acer trees in Chamoli district for their need.
The forest department, on the one hand, refused them permission, but on the other hand, allowed Simon’s Company to cut Acer trees to make tennis rackets and cricket bats. In response to this, DGSM held meetings, where the ‘embracing’ strategy of the Chipko movement was undertaken. The Simon’s Company axemen, when showed up in the forest on 24 March 1973, were faced by hundreds of villagers and DGSM members. They blocked their entry into the forests. They physically hugged the trees and prevented them from cutting the trees. They used slogans, songs and chanted.
“Let us protect and plant the trees,
Go awaken the villages,
And drive away the axemen.”
Finally, the Forest Department was forced to cancel the contract with Simon’s Company and permit the DGSM to carry out their work peacefully.
C. Silent Valley
The lush green valley of Kerala in the Palaghat district is Silent Valley. The river Kuntipuzha, a major river of Kerala, flows through this region. In 1928, an ideal site for electricity generation was Identified at Sairandhri on this river. Silent Valley is the home to the largest population of Lion-tailed macaque, which is the world’s most threatened primate. As the construction of a dam in the valley was announced, the environmental debate about the conservation of the endangered lion-tailed macaque was brought to public attention.
The founder of Madras Snake Park and Crocodile Bank, Romulus Whitaker drew the public’s attention towards this small region. Afterward, this region was surveyed by Kerala Forest Research Institute which proposed to declare the area as a biosphere reserve. The famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali, on behalf of the Bombay Natural History Society, surveyed the region and appealed for the cancellation of the Hydroelectricity Project. In 1983, the Honourable Prime Minister of India, after studying the report carefully, decided to abandon the project and declared Silent Valley forests as a National Park on November 15. Ten months later, Silent Valley National Park was formally inaugurated. After one year, it was declared as the core biodiversity area of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
D. Amrita Devi Bishnoi Movement
The concept of Chipko movement i.e., embracing trees to stop them from felling, had originated from the mythical story of Amrita Devi. Amrita Devi was a normal village woman who lived with her three daughters, Asu, Ratni, and Bhagu in Khejadli village in Rajasthan in 1730 A.D. One day, she was home with her three daughters when a party of Maharaja Abhay Singh, the king of Marwar, had entered their village. They had the intention of cutting green Khejri (Prosopis cineraria) trees to obtain lime for the construction of the new king’s palace. This village belonged to the Bishnoi tribe of Rajasthan. People of Bishnoi religion greatly depended on forests for their livelihood and in fact, worshipped the forests.
Amrita Devi protested against the king’s men and prohibited them from cutting trees. She was ready to give away her life to save the trees. She, in her own language, said “Sar santey rukh rahe to bhi sasto jan,” which meant, “If a tree is saved at the cost of even her head, it’s worth it.”
She hugged the trees after saying this. The king’s men were so ruthless that they cut down trees along with Amrita Devi. Her three daughters also offered their lives to save the trees. This incident spread like wildfire. Bishnois gathered and decided to sacrifice their lives with every green tree being cut. Old people, young men and women, and even the newly married ones and children were sacrificing their lives. This finally gave a blow to the king’s party, and they left. They reported the event to Maharaja, who was shocked to hear the incident and immediately ordered to stop felling of trees.
But by that time, 363 Bishnois, including men, women, children, married or unmarried had become martyrs, marking a historical event of man’s love and compassion towards our Mother Nature.
E. Contribution of Ahmed Khan of Bangalore
Ahmed Khan, a plastic sack manufacturer in Bangalore developed polyblend, a powdered structure manufactured from waste plastic which when mixed with bitumen, an important ingredient for constructing roads, increased the water-repelling property of roads that increased the average lifetime of roads by a multiple of three. So, he was successful in finding the problem of plastic waste accumulation.
The waste which is collected from various sources like apartments, schools, and by civic workers, is put in a shredder. The shredded bits are then stored in bags for about a week to drain out the moisture from them. This is then taken to a hot mixing plant located on the outskirts of Bangalore, where it is mixed with asphalt and forms a compound called polymerized bitumen. When this is used in roads, it not only withstands monsoons but also everyday wear and tear. Normally, the life span of a road is about three years. But with the K K poly blend (the bitumen-plastic mix), it is increased to about six to seven years. This is because the melting point of bitumen is about 60 to 70 degrees, whereas that of plastic is about 130 to 140 degrees.
Some Acts Related to the Environment:
|1878||Indian Forest Act|
|1879||Elephant Preservation Act|
|1887||Wild Bird Protection Act|
|1905||Bengal Smoke Nuisance Act|
|1912||Wild Birds and Animals Protection Act|
|1932||Bengal Rhinoceros Preservation Act|
|1972||Wildlife (Protection) Act|
|1974||Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act|
|1977||Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act|
|1980||Forest Protection Act|
|1981||Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act|
|1986||Amendment of Wildlife (Protection) Act|
|1986||Environment (Protection Act. E.P. Act)|
|1988||Modification of Forest Conservation Act|
|1989||Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules under E.P. Act 1986|
|1989||Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganism/Genetically Engineered Organism or Cells Rules|
|1989||Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules under E.P. Act 1986|
|1991||Public Liability Insurance Act|
|1991||Amendment of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972|
|1991||Notification of Coastal Regulation Zone, under E.P. Act 1986|
|1993||West Bengal Fisheries (Amendment) Act|
|1933||Environmental Impact Assessment Statement Notification under E.P. Act 1986|
|1994||Environmental Impact Assessment Statement (Modified) Notification|
|1994||Modification of CRZ Notification|
|1995||National Environment Tribunal Act under E.P. Act 1986|
|1996||Rules of Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response for Chemical Accidents|
|1996||Hazardous Wastes and Chemicals (Amendment) Rules|
|1997||Environment Impact Assessment Statement (Second Modification) Notification|
|1998||Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, under E.P. Act 1986|