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Issue 17
, 2009
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45% of country's land degraded: Environment report

Source: The Times of India, New Delh, Date: , 2009

At least 45% of the country's land is degraded, air pollution is on the rise in all cities while rare flora and fauna is diminishing at a rapid rate, according to the State of Environment Report India 2009. The third official report on the state of India's environment released by environment minister Jairam Ramesh paints a grim picture of the status of environment in the country, highlighting water, energy, food, climate change and urbanisation. On air pollution, the report points out that levels of respirable suspended particulate matter has been on the increase "in over 50 cities and with their population of 110 million the public health damage costs were estimated at Rs 15,000 crore in 2004." Rooting for public transport system, the report blames urban air pollution on vehicles and factories. While India remains one of the world's 17 "megadiverse" countries in terms of the number of species it houses, 10 per cent of its wild flora and fauna are on the threatened list, the report points