Geographic Location of Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh has a total area of 2,40,928 square kilometres and is located in northern India, sharing international borders with Nepal. The Himalayas are located in the north of the State, while the plains cover most of it. UP is divided into three distinct topographical areas. The first is the northern Himalayan area having a very rough and diverse terrain with topography ranging from 300m to 5000m. The second is the Gangetic Plain, which is located in the centre and features prosperous alluvial soils and a flat terrain studded with numerous lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. The third is the Vindhya Hills and Plateau in the south, marked by a hard rock stratum and a diverse topography of plains, hills, valleys and plateau. Water is limited in this region. The major rivers of Uttar Pradesh are the Yamuna, Ganges, Ghaghara and Sarayu. Other than agricultural importance, these rivers bear a lot of spiritual significance. The State shares its borders with the following Indian states: Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Bihar.

The climate of Uttar Pradesh

  • The climate of Uttar Pradesh is generally defined as sub-tropical monsoon type and is marked by three distinct seasons:
  • The summer season is marked between March and June. The summers are characterized by hot and dry weather with low relative humidity (20%). The temperature could rise to 45 °C, sometimes 47-48 °C) and generally, dust-laden winds prevail in the region.
  • Monsoon season is marked between June and September. Hot and humid conditions characterize this season. 85% of the average annual rainfall of 990 mm occurs during this period. Fall in temperature 40-45° on rainy days.
  • The Winter season is marked between October and February. The winters are characterized by cold and dry weather, clear skies and foggy mornings. The temperature could drop to Cold 3-4 °C, sometimes below -1 °C)

Retreating Monsoon season, although existent, has a very negligible effect in Uttar Pradesh, and only occasional mild showers are experienced in winter. Some of these showers are not even due to the Monsoon but due to western disturbances.

Meteorological Information:

1. Temperature

Temperature varies from 0 to 46°C. High temperatures of around 50°C have been recorded in Gonda district of the U.P. Such a wide range of temperature fluctuations in most parts of the State can lead to either cold waves or heat waves.


2. Precipitation

It rains over most of the U.P. with very few arid or semi-arid patches. Rainfall in the State ranges from 1,000–2,000 mm (39–79 in) in the east to 600–1,000 mm (24–39 in) in the west. Snowfall is minimal, although hailstorms, frost, and dew are common in the State. U.P receives orographic, cyclonic, and convectional rainfall.


3. Winds

In summers, hot winds called loo all across U.P. These are dust-laden and quite damaging. In winters, dry and rainless winds blow across the State. Fog may also form in parts of U.P. Given the concentration of much of this rainfall during the four months of the Monsoon season, excess rain may lead to floods and a lack of rain can lead to droughts. As a result, floods and droughts are regular occurrences throughout the State.

Risk

1. Climatic vulnerabilities

The climate sensitivity of agriculture in the State is relatively high. The State's high degree of poverty, fast urbanization, and flood, heat and cold waves are making it one of India's most susceptible places.


  • Annual rainfall is expected to increase by 15% to 20% in the 2050s compared to the baseline, increasing further in the 2080s (25% to 35%). The interannual variability increases as we approach the 2080s. The maximum temperature is expected to rise from 1.8 degrees Celsius to 2.1 degrees Celsius during that time.
  • Available trends indicate that agricultural productivity will decline up to 25 per cent in irrigated areas which could be as much as 50 per cent in rain-fed areas.
  • The dominance of small and marginal farmers (about 92 per cent) with small landholdings will make the State more vulnerable to climate change.
  • Inconsistent and erratic Monsoon and water scarcity have substantially affected the crop yields, cropped area and livestock in the Bundelkhand region in the last four-five years.
  • Considering the increasing population and limited availability of natural resources, agricultural productivity needs to continuously increase to meet the growing demand for food despite the adverse impacts of changing climate.

[Source: Uttar Pradesh State Action Plan on Climate Change]


2. Environmental issues of Uttar Pradesh

Issue

Severity

Status

Causes

BROWN AGENDA

Water quality

High

1. 6.4 million DALYs valued at water contamination and poor sanitation
2. Fluoride levels exceed WHO prescribed limits in 11   districts
3. Nitrate levels exceed WHO prescribed limits in 8 districts
4. Iron levels exceed WHO prescribed limits in 11 districts
5. Fertilizer and pesticide use is increasing 
6. 19 percent rural and 80 percent urban households have toilets Closed drains collect wastewater from 9.5 percent rural and 26.5 percent urban households.

Natural sources Agricultural runoff Poor sewerage & sanitation facilities Inefficient management practices

Indoor air pollution

High

1. 2.6 million DALYs valued at Rs. 17. 1billion are lost due to traditional biofuel use
2. Chief Cook's exposure to RSPM is between 1.8 to 20.0 mg/m3 During cooking period (3 hrs/day)
3. Exposure to CO is between 0.5 to 23.5 ppm during cooking period
4. Average exposure; to SO2 is 133.9 ig/m3 during cooking period

Use of traditional biofuels (fuelwood,dung cake, straw, crop residue etc.)

Urban ambient air pollution

High

1. 0.4 million DALYs valued at Rs 2.6 billion are lost due ;to urban air pollution
2. SPM levels in 8 cities are 2-3 times higher than the ambient air quality standards.
3. Industrial air emissions in highly polluted districts range between 0.007 to 1.48 kg/percapita/year

Transport Large Industry Small scale industry Power generation Back-up power generators Natural sources

Surface water pollution

Medium

1. Water Quality Index at select locations is between 0 to 50 (poor to fair quality,-i.e. not ;fit for activities involving direct contact with water)
2. Total coliform bacteria in Ganga near Kanpur is more than 37 million MPN/100ml
3. BOD around 75 mg/litre at Hindon near Saharanpur

Domestic sewage and poor sanitation Industrial effluents Agricultural runoff

Municipal solid waste

Medium

1. 20,820 tones per day (0.4 kh/capita/day)of solid waste generated in urban areas
2. A two fold increase is MSW is projected by 2016, and if not managed properly will have serious health and ecosystem impacts

Households Commercial establishments

Hazardous waste

Medium

1. 145786 tons of hazardous waste generated by 1036 industries in 2003
2. Serious ecosystem consequences if safe disposal sites are not initiated

Industries

Biomedical waste

Medium

1. 20.7 tons/day of biomedical waste generated by 1600 hospitals (250 gm/hospitalbed/day)
2. Serious health and ecosystem consequences if safe disposal is not initiated

Hospitals

GREEN AGENDA

Forests and biodiversity loss

High

1. 8.8 percent geographical area under forest and tree cover 
2. Rich plant ;diversity with 5352 species
3. Ten plant taxa belonging to eight genera and six families are endemic to UP
4. Gangetic River Dolphin - a highly endangered freshwater mammal is under threat 
5. One National Park and 23 wildlife sanctuaries cover 34% of forest area 
6. Pressure from 65.1 million livestock (270/sq.km)
7. 5000 to 10000 hectares of forest land diverted for development activities each year

Population pressure Development activities Encroachments Poaching Fuel wood collection

Land degradation

High

1. 13.52 million hectares of land affected by degradation, including 1.15 million hectare saline/alkaline land, 0.81 million hectare water logged land
2. 11 districts with more than 9% land areas as degraded land

Inefficient, excessive irrigation Industrialization Urbanization Loss of forest/tree cover, Poor land management

BLUE AGENDA

Water availability And Strees

Medium

1. Abundant water resources, with spatial variations : 13,500 villages (12% of revenue villages)do not have reliable drinking water sources
2. 42,775 villages (38% of revenue villages)have limited access to drinking water sources
3. 53 percent of the 623 towns get 50 percentless water than the supply norm
4. Annual surface water availability is 162 billion cubic meters. 
5. Annual replenishable groundwater availability;is 84 billion cubic meters About 50% groundwater currently exploited 22 over exploited blocks in western UP 56 semi critical blocks (28 in western UP)

Over exploitation by agriculture Inefficient management practices Population growth.

[Source: UP ENVIS]

Opportunities:

The State offers a large number of R&D opportunities across all the sectors. It promises striking research programmes in the fields of energy efficiency, low-carbon technologies, natural resource management, and greenhouse gas emissions. A few opportunities are mentioned below:

  • Projects for long-term sustainable infrastructure development are encouraged.
  • Investments towards low-carbon and energy efficient technology.
  • Promotion of carbon sequestration agricultural practices along with diversification of cropping systems and promotion of biotic stress-tolerant crop varieties in identified villages.
  • Pilot projects for the use of organic manure.
  • Development of carbon capture and utilization (CCU) projects.
  • Climate resilient infrastructure to withstand extreme weather events.
  • Potential Renewable energy sources to meet state energy demand.

[Source: Uttar Pradesh State Action Plan on Climate Change]

Extreme Weather Events (EWEs):

Extreme weather or extreme climatic events are characterized by bizarre, severe, or unseasonal weather that occurs at the extremes of the historical distribution. Often, extreme events are based on a location's recorded weather history and defined as lying in the most unusual ten percent. Climate change has already increased the frequency and severity of some of the EWEs. Uttar Pradesh is vulnerable to EWEs such as heat waves, cold waves, floods, droughts and lightning. The State has experienced an increase in prolonged periods of extremely high temperatures, torrential rain, and, in certain areas, devastating floods and droughts over the last 20 years. These EWEs have resulted in loss of life and property damage.


Total mortality caused by various extreme weather events (EWEs) in India during 1970–2019
Category Events (Number) Share (%) of Mortalities Share (%) of Mortality per event
each EWE (Number) each EWE
Heat wave 706 10.0 17362 12.3 24.6
Cold wave 548 7.8 9596 6.8 17.5
Floods 3175 45.0 65130 46.1 20.5
Lightning 2517 35.6 8862 6.3 3.5
Tropical Cyclones 117 1.7 40358 28.6 344.9
Total 7063 100.0 141308 100.0 20.0

[ Source: Kamaljit Ray et.al.,2021; An assessment of long-term changes in mortalities due to extreme weather events in India ]


Total Mortality wise Standing of Uttar Pradesh in India for selected EWE between (1970–2019)
EWE States (arranged mortality wise, in descending order)
Cold wave Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Rajasthan
Heat wave Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha
Floods Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar
Lightning Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh
Tropical Cyclone Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu
Total Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar

[ Source: Kamaljit Ray et.al.,2021; An assessment of long-term changes in mortalities due to extreme weather events in India ]


Number of death due to extreme weather events in Uttar Pradesh
Year Cold Wave Flood and Heavy Rainfall Heat Wave Lightning Thunderstorm Total
2019 240 32 9 26 64 371
2020 88 48 53 - 167 356

[ Source: PIB Press release, Ministry of Earth Science, GoI (Dated: 19 MAR 2021) ]

Emissionsion for U.P.


GHG Emission Estimates for Uttar Pradesh 2005-2015
Emission Estimates (Mt CO2-e) 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Per Capita 0.57 0.60 0.63 0.65 0.65 0.67 0.70 0.73 0.77 0.78 0.77
Overall 102.5 110.5 118.0 122.6 125.5 131.6 139.8 148.1 157.9 164.0 163.9

[ Source: GHG Platform India Report – CSTEP, 2019]

The standing of Uttar Pradesh in terms of sector-specific GHG emissions in India


Electricity Generation:

Uttar Pradesh (123.80 MtCO2e) was the highest contributor to electricity-based emissions in 2015. Around 98% (122 MtCO2e) of Uttar Pradesh’s emissions from the energy sector can be attributed to the combustion of coal in thermal power plants.


Residential Sector:

Uttar Pradesh had the highest emissions (13.69 MtCO2e) in 2015.


Commercial Sector:

Uttar Pradesh (1.03 MtCO2e), was the third highest contributor in the country, behind Tamil Nadu (1.36 MtCO2e), Maharashtra (1.19 MtCO2e).


Agriculture Sector:

Uttar Pradesh showed the highest emissions from the agriculture sector in 2015 (4.93 MtCO2e).


Transport Sector:

Uttar Pradesh (20.20 MtCO2e), was the third highest contributor in the country, behind Maharashtra (34.39 MtCO2e) and Tamil Nadu (21.57 MtCO2e)

[ Source: GHG Platform India Report – CSTEP, 2019]

Environmental Action Legal Framework In India

Year

Category

Action Type

Details

1853

Water pollution

Policy

The Shore Nuisance (Bombay and Kolaba) Act is introduced. It is one of the earliest laws to address water pollution and is able to authorize the Collector of Land Revenue in Bombay to order the removal of any nuisance in Bombay harbour

1857

Air pollution

Policy

The Oriental Gas Company Act is introduced

1860

Water pollution

Policy

The Indian Penal Code imposes a fine on anyone who voluntarily fouls the water of any public spring or reservoir.

1905

Air pollution

Policy

The Bengal Smoke Nuisance Act is introduced.

1912

Air pollution

Policy

The Bombay Smoke Nuisance Act is introduced.

1974

Water pollution

Policy

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act is introduced.

1974

General

Organization

The Central Pollution Control Board is formed. It runs nationwide programs of ambient air quality monitoring

1975 – 1995

Air pollution

Statistics

According to The Centre for Science and Environment, in this period during which the country's economy (gross domestic product or gdp) grew by about 2.5 times the vehicular pollution load grew by eight times.

1980

General

Policy

The Forest (Conservation) Act is introduced.

1980

General

Organization

The Centre for Science and Environment, one of India’s first environmental NGOs to analyze and study the relationship between environment and development and create public consciousness about the need for sustainable development.

1981

Air pollution

Policy

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act is passed to regulate air pollution.

1982

General

Organisation

India establishes the Pollution Control Board, aimed at monitoring and curbing air, land and water pollution brought on by the booming textile industry in the country.

1985

General

Organization

The Ministry of Environment and Forests is created by the Indian Government. This ministry is the central administrative organisation in India for regulating and ensuring environmental protection.

1985

Water pollution

Program

The Indian Government devises the "Ganga Action Plan", an ambitious and heavily funded plan to clean the Ganges river.

1986

General

Policy

Triggered by the Bhopal Disaster, the Government of India enacts the Environment Protection Act. The purpose of the Act is to implement the decisions of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.

1995

Water pollution

Research

Report claims that 114 Indian cities dump untreated sewage and partially cremated bodies directly into the Ganges River.

1995–2010

General

Recognition

During this period, India is recognized as having made some of the fastest progress in addressing its environmental issues and improving its environmental quality in the world.

1996

Water pollution

Policy

The Pollution Control Board issues orders to the textile units to remove the colour from the effluents before discharging them into the rivers.

1999

Noise pollution

Policy

A draft of Noise Pollution (Control and Regulation) Rules is published under the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

1999

General

Policy

The Supreme Court of India adopts Delhi’s pollution control program, designed by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority. The Delhi program became the basis for other cities to adopt similar efforts.

1999

Air pollution

Policy

The Indian Government introduces the first-ever fuel specifications based on environmental considerations, the push for higher emission standards.

2000

Noise pollution

Policy

The Government of India enacts a set of Noise Pollution (Regulation & Control) Rules.

2001

General

Policy

The Energy Conservation Act establishes the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, which is tasked with reducing the energy intensity of the economy.

2004

Water pollution

Policy

The Pollution Control Board begins to ask factories to implement zero liquid discharge.

2009

Water pollution

Organization

The National Ganga River Basin Authority is established by the Central Government of India. It also declares Ganges as the "National River" of India.

2009

Water pollution

Program

The Indian Government establishes the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) and initiates the "Mission Clean Ganga". The program is supported by the World Bank with one billion dollars.

2010

General

Organization

The Indian Government establishes dedicated green courts in the form of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to rapidly resolve environmental cases.

2011

Air pollution

Policy

The Indian Government sets up its National Mission for Electric Mobility, which aims to promote electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid manufacturing.

2015

Air pollution

Index release

The Government of India, together with IIT Kanpur launched the National Air Quality Index, an alert system that notifies the public about air pollution levels and associated health risks. The project aims to increase public awareness.

2015

Air pollution

Policy

India sets new emissions standards for air pollution from coal plants for compliance in 2017, with looser standards for older plants.

2015

Air pollution

Policy

The FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) Scheme is adopted to subsidize electric and hybrid cars, mopeds, rickshaws and buses.

2018

General

Statistics

India ranks 177 out of 180 in the Environmental Performance Index, among the bottom five countries, plummeting 36 places from 141 in 2016.

2019

Air pollution

Program

India launches 'The National Clean Air Programme' with a tentative national target of 20%-30% reduction in PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations by 2024, considering 2017 as the base year for comparison. It would be rolled out in 102 cities that are considered to have air quality worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

2019

General

Statistics

According to Greenpeace, 22 of the world's 30 most polluted cities are in India.

2020

Air pollution

Program

India is expected to advance the date for stricter fuel and emission norms by this time, so new vehicles sold after it would be far cleaner.

2030

Air pollution

Policy

India pledges a 33-35% reduction in the “emissions intensity” of its economy by the time, compared to 2005 levels.

2030

Air pollution

Policy

All new urban buses are planned to be fully electric by that time.


Schemes and Programmes:


To address climate change, a number of strategies and programmes are being developed. These programs/schemes/policies are engaged with climate change mitigation and adaptation and other environmental issues such as pollution. In conjunction with the Government of India, the Government of Uttar Pradesh has established initiatives that integrate SDGs and climate action across sectors such as agriculture, energy, housing, the environment, health and hygiene, and transportation.