India is an agricultural country whose two- third of population is dependent on agriculture. While agriculture since ancient days has expanded at the cost of forest lands and pastures the problem has assumed alarming proportion in recent years, earlier groves, orchards and plantations were attached equal importance to croplands, in rural areas there was a prevalent notion for ‘Adhi Kheti Aur
Adhi Bari’ (Half of the land to agriculture and remaining half to groves). But due to mounting population pressure growing demand for food crops, higher yield of food crops under Green Revolution remunerative prices for agricultural crops, there has been encroachment of the grove lands and forestlands, So much so that the actual forest cover of India has come down to less than 11 per cent. Earlier mixed cropping system and the practice of fallow land were prevalent. Now mono cropping has become popular agricultural practice and no farmer can afford to keep his field fallow for a season or two.
This has adverse effect on the soil fertility and environment, the increasing use of chemical fertilisers, insecticides, pesticides and weedicides etc. has worsened the situation posing the danger of soil and water pollution and serious hazard to human health.
The popularity of HYV seeds is paving way for the shrinking bio-diversity and many species of rice, wheat, maize, pulses, oilseeds, cotton etc. are now extinct or at the verge of extinction. With PL 480 food-aid new species of weeds have invaded farmers’ fields which are difficult to be contained. Today’s agriculture needs ample supply of water whose excessive withdrawal from underground has led to the fall in water-level and water-crisis.
The industrial scene is not quite different from the agricultural one. Industries got boost up after Independence particularly during planning era, But due to lack of clear industrial policy its development has been sporadic, irregular and. unplanned. These industries are mainly concentrated in a few important cities and even after the Government policy of decentralisation vast countryside and backward areas are devoid of industrial development.
Even in industrial towns many industries thrive in residential, business and administrative areas. Delhi’s problem may be cited as an example. Industries have not only created large number of slums and squatter settlements but have played significant role in polluting the urban environment.
Majority of the factories do not have pollution control devices and industrial wastes full of hazardous chemicals are left free to be mixed with the air, soil and water, Industrial society too is quite different from the traditional society which is highly materialistic, individualistic. Selfish with scant regard for human values and morality.