June 10, 2021 2:57:10 am
IN THE Niti Aayog’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) India Index 2020-21 made public last week, Gujarat is listed as one of the worst performers in the country in responsible consumption and production, ranking 27th among 28 states. It also comes out as a poor performer on several other indicators related to goals of climate action, clean water and sanitation.
In “responsible consumption and production” categorised under SDG 12, which is assessed on seven indicators, Gujarat is among middle-tier of “performers”, with only Goa in the bottom-most tier of “aspirant” states. Gujarat performs poorly on six of these indicators, compared to the national average.
The state has more than double the per capita consumption of fossil fuel compared to national average of 157.3 kilogram, higher percentage use of nitrogenous fertilisers, highest hazardous waste generated per 1,000 population as of 2018 — 50.12 metric tonnes per year (India average is 8.09 metric tonnes per year), recycles only one-third of the hazardous waste that it generates as of 2018 data, lower than what the national average is, by nearly 12 percentage points. The high hazardous waste generation per 1,000 population is a deterioration from the 2019 SDG report for Gujarat, when 44.76 metric tonnes were produced per year.
Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) member secretary, Anil Shah, says, “This is because Gujarat being an industrial state… If industries are more, the generation of this waste will be more. One can’t compare Gujarat with Nagaland or Mizoram and if you take an average, definitely then it (Gujarat) will be higher. Gujarat has chemical, dyes, pesticides manufacturing units. Toxic and chemical waste requires disposal and cannot be recycled. On management of toxic waste, Gujarat has the maximum co-processing compared to say Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, but that is not factored in (as part of SDG report).”
As of 2018-19, plastic waste generated per 1,000 population in Gujarat was 5.30 tonnes per annum, double the India average of 2.54 tonnes per annum.
In terms of reliance on clean energy sources, as of November 2020, Gujarat had only 1.12 megawatt installed capacity of grid interactive bio power per 10 lakh population against India average of 7.62 megawatt.
In Gujarat, under the clean water and sanitation goal (SDG 6), 80 per cent of industries (17 category of highly polluting industries/ grossly polluting/ red category of industries) are complying with waste water treatment as per CPCB norms, which is lower than the country average of 88 per cent.
Shah says, “This has improved compared to last year (as per SDG 2019 report, 78.91 per cent of industries in Gujarat were complying with waste water treatment as per CPCB norms) and we are in process of continually improving the system.”
Under the SDG 13 of climate action, Gujarat saw 34.51 per cent of electricity generation from renewable energy out of total installed generating capacity, against India average of 36.37 per cent. Gujarat is also seeing a decline in tree cover as the total geographical area compared to SDG report of 2019 .
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