India needs huge investment in environmental infrastructure: Study

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India, ranked among the 15 most polluted countries in the world, is facing still challenges and needs huge investments for robust environmental infrastructure (planning, designing, and construction) which throws open also opportunities for investors, says a report from Frost & Sullivan.

India is ranked among 15 of the most polluted countries in the world and it is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, the report pointed out. Polluted rivers have doubled in number over the last decade and only 70% of the solid waste is collected, of which a meagre 22-28% is properly processed, increasing the pressure on already overloaded dumping sites and eventually leading to pollution, it said.

India faces several challenges such as air and water pollution, waste mismanagement, and non-sustainable energy generation. Existing environmental resources and infrastructure are under pressure, and this will only increase over time. The government has realized this and is taking efforts to prepare for the future by introducing congenial policies and programs such as Swachh Bharat Mission to spur growth in the sector, said the report, adding India’s environmental infrastructure industry is still nascent and has a lot to offer in terms of growth opportunities.

The report, “Opportunity Assessment for Environmental Infrastructure in India, Forecast to 2025,” discusses challenges and opportunities in each of these sectors and sub-sectors, how to effectively leverage the opportunities, and the government initiatives in this sector.

India produces 62 million tons of waster per annum; close to 70% is collected but only 22-28% is processed. Landfills have become the third largest source of greenhouse gases in the country. With population growth, waste generation is expected to increase by 5% per annum. Population growth will also result in waste management-related challenges, and proper infrastructure will play an important role in sustainable development, it noted.

By 2040, India’s energy demand is expected to reach 15,820 terawatt hours, and the country aims to meet it internally through the development of renewable energy centers. India’s renewable energy sector is regarded the second most attractive in the world. The country accounts for about 4% of the world’s renewable energy. Based on sources of power generation, India ranks fourth in terms of total wind power capacity and sixth in terms of solar power capacity (globally).

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