AP Environmental Index High, albeit Poor Performance

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The Panning Commission has reportedly ranked Andhra Pradesh No. 2 in its Environmental Performance Index (EPI), 2012, despite the fact that the state has lost 281 square kilometre of forest cover (State of Forests Report- 2011) within a few years and people in Hyderabad city are drinking Grade C water (Central Pollution Control Board estimates), which is unfit for human consumption, if not treated massively. Himachal Pradesh has topped the estimates.

The survey mentioning EPI for states, for all 28 states and seven union territories, defines EPI as an indication of the “environmental well-being of a state”. The rankings are based on five broad parameters – air pollution, forests, water quality, waste management and climate change. The criteria have a net score of 1. “The closer a state gets to this mark, the better is its environmental conditions.” The survey has also marked AP’s air with score of 0.94, under ‘air quality performance.’ Under sewerage and industrial effluents in its water sources, the rank of the state is fourth and for surface quality, the score is 0.74.

Forest management and climate change initiative scores are 10 and 14 respectively.

The numbers thus presented have failed to impress the people of the state. However, in view of the survey, the state is reportedly to get a big chunk of Rs. 1.4 lakh crore approved by the commission for the states. The state is likely to get a grant of Rs182 crore from the Union Government under its environmental scheme, to undertake work at the Noor Mahmad Kunta, Hyderabad and municipal solid waste site (Kadapa).

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