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Green Revolution hit biodiversity, says report

The Tribune, New Delhi, 13th August, 2005

 

Punjab biodiversity was hit hard by the Green Revolution. This significant revelation has been made in a report prepared by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology on the State of the Environment 2005. The council shared the contents of the report with media persons today. Most domestic varieties of various crops have either disappeared or are in disuse. As many as 41 varieties of wheat, 37 of rice, four of maize, three of bajra, 16 of sugarcane, 19 of pulses and 10 of cotton were in use prior to the Green Revolution in the state. However, in the post-Green Revolution period, the number of varieties decreased.

 

Of the 38 varieties of wheat released during the post –green Revolution period by PAU, Ludhiana, only three are widely used. Of the 17 varieties of rice released by PAU, only three are in use at present. In the case of animals, the number of buffaloes increased in the post-Green Revolution period. However, the number of other animals such as cows, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, pigs and camels had decreased. The quality of ground water is deteriorating in the state due to industrial andagricultural activities, especially in Kapurthala, Jalandhar , Ludhiana, Patiala and Sangrur districts. Heavy metals have been reported in ground water in Ludhiana.

 

A high incidence of cancer has been reported from certain villages in Bathinda district. The cause appears to be the excessive use of pesticides in that area. Industries, vehicles, the unplanned development of urban areas and agricultural activities are some of the major factors responsible for air pollution, says the report. During the past 35 years, large and medium –scale Industry has increased six times and small-Scale industry 25 times.