Telangana has been ranked as the top state in terms of overall environmental performance by the definitive ‘The State of India’s Environment 2023 In Figures’ report.
The report was released by Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Down to Earth magazine on Sunday, 4 June, on the eve of World Environment Day.
While Telangana was positioned first on the environment parameter, the states were also ranked for their performance in sectors such as agriculture, public health, and infrastructure.
Telangana tops in environment
The report ranked Telangana at the top for its progress in increasing its forest cover and in municipal waste treatment.
Across 29 States, only Telangana scored above seven out of 10 in increasing forest cover.
While Telangana scored 7.21, Gujarat and Goa secured the second and third ranks with 6.5 and 6.3 points respectively.
Bihar, Nagaland and Rajasthan were at the bottom in terms of environmental performance. The bottom-ranked 10 states also included six from the northeast, including Assam.
Among the rest of Southern states, Andhra Pradesh finished at sixth place, Kerala at eighth, Karnataka at 18th and Tamil Nadu at 21st.
Great news for Telangana 😊
On the eve of the world environmental day, the latest book released by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) Telangana state stands a clear Number One among all indian states 👏
Kudos to visionary leadership of CM KCR Garu and his brainchild… pic.twitter.com/02SSU6rvEm
— KTR (@KTRBRS) June 4, 2023
In October 2022, Hyderabad won the overall World Green City Award — 2022, and Living Green for Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth Award at the International Association of Horticulture Producers’ (AIPH) World Green City Awards 2022 held at Jeju, South Korea’s longest island.
The Telangana government’s flagship afforestation programme ‘Haritha Haram’ will be launched on 19 June as a part of 10th State Formation Year. A total of 19.29 crore saplings are targeted to be planted this year during the Telangana Green Festival — Haritha Utsavam.
Meanwhile, Telangana performed below average in parameters such as “share of waterbodies not in use”, “stage of groundwater extraction” and “change in number of polluted river stretches”.
Madhya Pradesh first in agriculture
Madhya Pradesh took the top spot for the highest share of net value added, and for its jump in food grain production.
However, almost half the crop area in the state remains uninsured, as per the report.
Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh were ranked second, third and fourth, respectively, while Delhi, Goa and Meghalaya held the bottom three places.
After Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu finished at eight spot, Telangana at 19th, Karnataka at 21st, and Kerala at 26th among the South states.
As per the CSE, the data was sourced from the government and official documents and other sources.
“We identified and compiled the data, and then standardised the numbers to make them comparable. Differential weightages were assigned to the indicators, and the final scores and rankings were computed thereafter,” said , Associate Editor of Down To Earth and author of the report Rajit Sengupta.
Noting that data is a great explainer as it tells the story at a glance and backs it up with evidence, CSE Director General Sunita Narain said, “The report is our attempt to use the best available data points to tell you the story of India’s environmental performance: Where it has faltered, where it has managed to move towards a sustainable existence, and where, if any, are the gaps in data.”
Delhi leads across 29 States in public health as it has allocated the highest share of its budget to health, and boasts of a robust network of healthcare facilities, the CSE report said.
However, the report noted that Delhi has a low immunisation rate. Sikkim, Goa and Mizoram follow Delhi.
Madhya Pradesh, which is at the bottom, has a high incidence of maternal mortality ratio and infant mortality rate. Chhattisgarh, Assam and Uttar Pradesh also finished in the bottom four.
Among the Southern states, Andhra Pradesh was ranked at sixth spot followed by Kerala (7th) and Tamil Nadu (8th). Karnataka finished at 11th spot and Telangana at 13th.
In the public infrastructure and human development parameter, Gujarat finished at the top for its performance in providing employment and tap water connections. It was followed by Sikkim and Delhi.
The state, however, ranked comparatively low in sex ratio and has a high proportion of rural households using unclean cooking fuels, said the report.
Jharkhand occupied the bottom spot, and was preceded by Nagaland, Rajasthan and Arunachal Pradesh.
Among the Southern states, Telangana finished at fourth position, Karnataka at fifth, Andhra Pradesh at 11th, Tamil Nadu at 14th and Kerala at 22nd.
Pointing out three key things emerging out of the report, Managing Editor of Down to Earth, Richard Mahapatra said, “One, we have found that in each theme, even the top-ranked states are struggling in some of the crucial indicators. Two, none of the states perform well across all four themes that are critical for sustainable development. And three, small states like Goa and Sikkim seem to be performing well.”