As told to Parliament (March 24, 2022): Tropical Indian Ocean warmed by 1°C from 1951-2015

All that was discussed in the House through the day  

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 25 March 2022

The tropical Indian Ocean has experienced a rapid increase in ocean warming with an average rise in sea surface temperature of about 1 degrees Celsius (°C) over the period of 1951-2015, 0.15°C per decade, Jitendra Singh, minister of state in the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences told the Rajya Sabha March 25, 2022.

The western Indian Ocean region experienced a four-fold rise in marine heatwaves events (increasing at a rate of 1.5 events per decade) and the north Bay of Bengal experienced a two-to-three fold rise (at a rate of 0.5 events per decade), Singh added.

Space debris

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set up a Directorate of Space Situational Awareness and Management at its headquarters to deal with issues related to space debris, Singh told the Rajya Sabha.

A dedicated SSA Control Centre has been set up in Bengaluru to coordinate all space debris-related activities in ISRO and to safeguard Indian operational space assets from collision threats.

Marine litter

India generated 3,469,780 tonnes per annum (TPA) of plastic waste in 2019-2020, in according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s annual report on plastic waste. Of this, approximately 1,580,000 TPA of plastic waste is recycled and 167,000 TPA is co-processed in cement kilns, Singh said.

Climate targets

India is on track to meet its nationally determined contributions, which are compatible with a well-below-2°C scenario, Ashwini Kr Choubey, minister of state in the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change told the Rajya Sabha. 

India, with more than 17 per cent of the global population, has contributed only about four per cent of the global cumulative greenhouse gas emissions between 1850 and 2019, Choubey added.

Land degradation

Land degredation in India has increased to 97.84 million hectares in 2018-19 from 96.32 million hectares in 2011-13, according to the Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India, Chubey told the Rajya Sabha.

COVID-19 impact

Water quality monitoring of 19 major rivers showed marginal improvement in river water quality in India during the COVID-19 lockdown period, Choubey said.

There was reduction in organic pollution and increase in saturation of oxygen levels in surface water bodies whereas faecal contamination levels remained the same.

Similarly, there was temporary improvement of air quality in many cities due to closure of industries, reduction in number of plying vehicles, lack of construction activities and absence of human activities, Choubey said.

According to data presented in the House, PM2.5 reduced by 9-70 per cent, PM10 by 20-68 per cent, sulphur dioxide by 19-77 per cent and nitrogen dioxide by 20-87 per cent during the lockdown phases across most cities, as compared to average concentration observed in the corresponding period of 2019.


India generated 1,014,961 tonnes of e-waste in 2019-2020, which is a 31.60 per cent increase compared to 2018-2019, Choubey told the Rajya Sabha. 

Clean air

The government has sanctioned an amount of Rs 423.21 crore to non-attainment cities under the National Clean Air Programme for initiating various actions.

These include expansion of monitoring network, construction and demolition waste management facilities, non-motorised transport infrastructure, green buffer zone, use of mechanical street sweepers, composting units, etc, Choubey added.

The 15th Finance Commission has identified 42 urban agglomerations with million-plus population for performance-based grants based on improvement in air quality for the period 2020-21 to 2025-26 under the Million-Plus Cities Challenge Funds.

Funds to the tune of Rs 12,139 crore have been allocated for this purpose. Funds to the tune of Rs 2,217 crore have been allocated for 2021-22. An amount of Rs 4,400 crore was disbursed during 2020-21 to these cities, Choubey added.

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