Environmental infrastructure is under huge pressure in India
- India is ranked among 15 of the most polluted countries in the world
- It is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world
- Polluted rivers have doubled in number over the last decade in India
Frost & Sullivan’s study – “Opportunity Assessment for Environmental Infrastructure in India, Forecast to 2025” underscores the above critical points relating to environmental infrastructure and goes on to discusses India’s environmental infrastructure – the challenges and opportunities, how to effectively leverage the opportunities, the government initiatives in this sector, and more.
The study reveals that only 70% of the solid waste is collected, of which a meagre 22-28% is properly processed, increasing the pressure on already overloaded dumping sites and eventually leading to pollution.
Environmental infrastructure are those that equip a city with clean water supply, sustainable waste disposal mechanism, and renewable energy. It is evolving into a basic necessity for cities around the globe. Just as drinking water needs to be treated to prevent water-borne diseases, efficient waste disposal and waste treatment mechanism are necessary to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Clean energy has also become the need of the hour to maintain ecological balance, including human health.
Environmental infrastructure sub-sectors can be classified into 3 main categories:
- Water supply and wastewater management
- Waste management
- Energy efficiency and renewable energy
India faces several challenges such as air and water pollution, waste mismanagement, and non-sustainable energy generation. Existing environmental resources and infrastructure are under pressure, and this will only increase over time. The government has realized this and is taking efforts to prepare for the future by introducing congenial policies and programs such as Swachh Bharat Mission to spur growth in the sector. However, India’s environmental infrastructure industry is still nascent and has a lot to offer in terms of growth opportunities.
“India is witnessing a tremendous pressure on its natural resources due to the ever-increasing population. Amenities like clean drinking water and clean air will become difficult to attain. The incremental waste generation by cities is one major issue without enough solutions. Hence, investment in a robust environmental infrastructure (planning, designing, and construction) is the need of the hour,” says Akshay Sharma, Consultant, Public Sector Practice, Frost & Sullivan. “The government of India has identified this and accepted it as one of its top priorities. A combined effort from the public and the private sectors is required to overcome the environmental infrastructure challenges. The sector is filled with opportunities that are waiting to be tapped.”