Uttarakhand tops in “Environmental Performance Index (EPI)”
Uttarakhand (scored 0.8123) topped the list of best-performing States and Union territories in terms of environmental performance. As per the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) released by Planning Commission:
· Uttarakhand is followed by Himachal Pradesh (0.7316), Chandigarh (0.7270), Sikkim (0.7149), and Andhra Pradesh (0.7147).
· Best states in terms of air quality: Mizoram, Kerala, Goa, Sikkim, Tripura, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar (all with average score of 1)
· Paradoxically, except for Uttarakhand, all the States meet the prescribed national ambient air quality standard in respect of the sulphur dioxide of 20 micrograms per cubic metre.
· More than 10 States do not meet the national standard of 30 microgram per cubic metre for Nitrogen dioxide.
· Except for Goa, Kerala, and Mizoram, no State meets the 60 microgram per cubic metre national standard for particulate matter.
· Himachal Pradesh is the only state with 100 % sewage treatment capacity, in the remaining States it ranges from 0 (13 States) to less than 20 % (8 States) and more than 50 per cent in 4 States.
· Total fecal coliform count is as much as 92 % in most of the States.
· States leading in forest conservation and expansion of green cover are Chandigarh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh.
Environmental well-being is one of the considerations for transfer of funds to the States under the Gadgil formula.
Indicators taken under consideration to arrive at water quality:
· Sewage disposal
· water quality of rivers
· dissolved oxygen
· total coliform count
· percentage of water exploitation
The indicators considered for measuring the ambient air quality performance:
· sulphur dioxide
· nitrogen oxide
· particulate matter