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States with natural resources more economically sustainable: IFMR Study

by Harsha Yadav

Source: Business Standard

States with abundant natural resources and less economic activity are environmentally most sustainable in India, while it is just the opposite in the case of those with high intensity of economic activities, according to the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) here.

The Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) for Indian States 2011, a study by the Centre for Development Finance under the 1970-founded IFMR, notes that the index for two years — 2009 and 2011 — shared this common characteristic.

As per ESI 2010, the states that are most sustainable, which lie in the top 20 percentile, are largely Himalayan. These include Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim besides Himachal Pradesh. On the other hand, the least sustainable states (in the bottom 20 percentile) are Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

 

Even as the states with rich natural resources, like forests, are in the top category of sustainability, states that are rich in other resources like minerals, such as Chhattisgarh and Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, have moderate to very low sustainability rates.

Large states such as Gujarat, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh that have experienced intensification of industrial and agrarian activities maintained their growth in these segments at the expense of environmental health — and have scored lower on the ESI.

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