India is likely to miss at least 17 key government targets that have a deadline in 2022, says the 2022 State of India’s Environment report of CSE

In meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), India has slipped three places since last year and stands now at 120th rank among 192 nations; behind all South Asian nations except Pakistan 

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New Delhi/Nimli (Rajasthan), March 1, 2022: India is behind on at least 17 key government targets that have a deadline in 2022and the slow progress made so far means that the deadlines are unlikely to be met, reports the 2022 Annual State of India’s Environment, released here today by the Union minister for environment, forest and climate change,BhupenderYadav.The report, a yearly publication from Down To Earth magazine, was released at Anil Agarwal Dialogue 2022, a national conclave of mediapeopleorganised by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). 

Says Down To Earth managing editor Richard Mahapatra: “The targets have been set in a wide array of fields and sectors—from economy and employment, to housing, agriculture, land records, sustainable environment and energy—and are a sharp compass of the progress made by the country.”

Economy: The target for the economy is to raise the GDP to nearly US $4 trillion by 2022-23. But by 2020, the economy has grown only to US $2.48 trillion. In fact, the economy has largely shrunk during the pandemic, making it even more difficult to meet the deadline. 

Employment: The target is to increase the female labour force participation to at least 30 per cent by 2022-23; it stood at 17.3 per cent in January-March 2020. 

Housing: The targetsare to construct 29.5 million housing units under PradhanMantriAwasYojana (PMAY)-Rural and 12 million units under PMAY-Urban; only about 46.8 per cent and 38 per cent respectively of the targetsunder ‘Housing for All’ have been achieved. 

Provision of drinking water: The target is to provide safe piped drinking water to all by 2022-23; only 45 per cent of the target has been achieved. 

Agriculture: The target is to double farmers’ income by 2022. While the average monthly income of an agricultural household has increased from Rs 6,426 to Rs 10,218, this increase is largely due to increase in wages and income from farming animals. The share of income from crop production in the average monthly income of an agricultural household has, in fact, dropped -- from 48 per cent in 2012-13 to 37.2 per cent in 2018-19. 

Digitisation of land records: Another target is to digitise all land records by 2022. While states like Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha have made good progress, states like J&K, Ladakh and Sikkim languish at 5 per cent, 2 per cent and 8.8 per cent digitisation of land records,respectively. Overall, the target is unlikely to be met, particularly because 14 states have witnessed deterioration in the quality of land records since 2019-20. 

Air pollution: The target is to bring down PM2.5 levels in Indian cities to less than 50microgramme per cubic metre (µg/m3). In 2020, when vehicular movement was restricted due to the pandemic, 23 of the 121 cities monitored for PM2.5 exceeded 50 µg/m3

Solid waste management: The target is to achieve 100 per cent source segregation in all households. The overall progress is 78 per cent; and while states like Kerala and Union territories like Puducherry have achieved the target, others like West Bengal and Delhi are woefully behind.Manual scavenging is targeted for eradication, but India still has 66,692 manual scavengers. 

Increasing the forest cover:The target is to increase it to 33.3 per cent of the geographical area, as envisaged in the National Forest Policy, 1988. By 2019, 21.67 per cent of India was under forest cover. 

Energy: The target is to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2022. Only 56 per cent of this target has been achieved thus far. 

Says Mahapatra: “The gap between the targets and the achievementsonce more exposes the chronic problems besetting governance in our country. We set out with high hopes and may occasionally take some bold policy decisions, but when it comes to implementation and delivery, we are found wanting. This must change.” 

Says AnumitaRoychowdhury, executive director,research and advocacy, CSE: “Most of these targets are quite realistic, and while the pandemic can be blamed for some of the missed deadlines, for example, regarding the GDP growth, other deadlines, like the oneon reduction in air pollution, should in fact have been achieved quicker because of the pandemic-induced lockdown. We must introspect on why we fail to achieve targets that are necessary to secure a sustainable future for this country.” 

State of the states

The State of India’s Environment (SoE) 2022 report has a comprehensive set of infographics and statistical analysis of how India’s states are faring in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Some glimpses: 

  • With less than a decade left to realise the SDGs (2030 is the deadline), Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are below the national average in 11 and 14 SDGs, respectively. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh fared best (page 25 of SoE 2022).
  • With respect to SDG 1 (poverty eradication), six of the poorest performers include Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (page 26). All these states – along with Meghalaya, Assam, Gujarat, Maharashtra and West Bengal -- also feature in the list of worst performers as far as ending hunger and malnutrition is concerned (SDG 2) (page 27).
  • In water and sanitation (SDG 6), the performance of Delhi, Rajasthan, Assam, Punjab and Arunachal Pradesh is a cause for concern (page 31).
  • SDG 7 – related to clean and affordable energy – has seen an above average performance, with most states achieving the target (page 32).
  • In climate action (SDG 13), 13 states and two Union territories score below the national average. Odisha tops the good performance chart, followed by Kerala; Jharkhand and Bihar bring up the rear (page 38). 

For more details: Sukanya Nair, The CSE Media Resource Centre, / +91-8816818864