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80% think city's environment got worse in last yrs: Survey

The Times of India, New Delhi, 4th June, 2013

An environment survey carried out across six metropolitan cities by The Energy and Resources Institute has found that while 80% of the respondents in Delhi believe that the overall environment in the city has deteriorated in the past five years, the capital also sets the record for being the most ill-informed across the metros about government policies on environment.

Teri interviewed 1,114 respondents in Delhi NCR for the survey, of which 44% were females and 56% were males. While it is widely believed that the city's air quality has worsened over the past few years, only 40% of the respondents support the claim while 39% believe that air quality has actually improved. The water utility too will take heart from the fact that 41% of the respondents said that drinking water availability and quality has improved in the past five years .

 The survey has revealed that 45% of the Delhi respondents believe that the transport sector is most responsible for air pollution, followed by industries and garbage burning. The 46% respondents who said they did not use public transport cited reasons like inconvenience, lack of good frequency and safety issues for using private transport.

Of the 94% of respondents who said that water is being wasted in Delhi, 58% said that the wastage was due to excessive consumption while 49% said that it was being lost in leakages during distribution. Delhi's failure to segregate waste at source is also not surprising with 49% of the respondents having expressed their unwillingness to segregate waste at home.

The city also believes more strongly than other metros that environment and development can go hand in hand and that it isn't difficult to improve the current state of affairs. To improve the green cover, 33% say that the government should declare certain green areas 'protected'. Another 31% say that waste land should be reclaimed to make a green cover.

Dr R K Pachauri, director general, Teri said: "Our purpose is to see that issues related to environment and development get embedded in the consciousness of the people, and of course, if we carry out an assessment of people's attitude and how they view these issues then clearly we are also creating awareness on the major changes that are required to ensure we move on the path of sustainable development."