District Survey Reports
About Punjab
Major Environmental Issues in Punjab
Climate Change
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Environmental Conventions and Conferences
Environmental Standards
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Solid Waste
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Water Supply and Sanitation


  • Factors affecting air quality in Punjab

1.    Industrial Pollution

2.      Vehicular Pollution

3.      Agricultural Pollution

4.      Domestic Processes

  • 15,021 units in 2015-16 red category industries (highly polluting) using coal or rice husk as fuel and contributing high levels of suspended particulate, oxide nitrogen and sulphur, organic compounds and other pollutants in the air.
  • High level of RSPM recorded from industrial zones of the state
  • Massive growth of vehicles (3,60,154 in 1981 to 90,64,476 in 2015-16) contributing to carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, etc.
  • Air pollution due to burning of Paddy Straw in the agricultural fields

  • Generation of Fly Ash


  • Punjab is transversed by 4 major rivers i.e. Satluj, Beas, Ravi and Ghaggar(seasonal) having water potential of about 14.54 MAF. It has 14,500 km long canal system and 8000 km of drainage system.
  • 21 wetlands covering an area of 155.78 sq.km(0.30% TGA of State): 12 Natural wetlands and 9 manmade wetlands( including 3 Ramsar Sites)
  • The depth of ground water in most parts of state ranges between 5-20m below ground level (mbgl) except in south western parts where it is less than 5mbgl.
  • Intensive Agriculture dominated by paddy wheat monoculture has led to over exploitation of water resources in Punjab.
  • The state has the highest stage of ground water development of 172 % (indicating the annual water consumption is very high compared to its annual recharge) amongst all the states in India (Source: Central Ground Water Board, 2017).
  • The problem of over exploitation of ground water resources is most severe in Central Punjab, usually called “sweet water zone” and dominated by rice crop in Kharif season (Source: Economic Survey of Punjab, 2016-17).
  • In Punjab shallowest water level conditions prevail in southwest parts mainly in Faridkot, Muktsar and Ferozpur districts, while deepest water level conditions exist in the central and north eastern parts of the state covering Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana, Rupnagar and Sangrur districts (Source: Ground Water Monitoring Report, 2016)
  • The depletion of ground water level is attributed to increase in number of tubewells. The number of tube wells has increased from 3 lakhs in 1975 to 14 lakhs in 2015-16. (Source: Statistical Abstract of Punjab, 2016)
  • By 2023, the water table depth in central Punjab is projected to fall below 70 feet in 66% area, below 100 feet in 34% area and below 130 feet in 7% area
  • Quality of ground water in the state changes from good to poor from North to South/South West (Good quality-51%, marginal quality- 37%, poor quality-12%)
  • 14298 red category industries contributing as point sources of pollution
  • High level of BOD and heavy metals recorded from river Sutlej, Ghagger,
  • Other challenges of water sectors include ever increasing demand, canal efficiency below their designated capacity, water logging in South-Western Districts and potable drinking water accessibility in SW districts.


  • Only 6.58% (3315 Sq. Km.) of total geographical area of the state under forests i.e. tree cover: 1544 sq. km and forest cover:1771 sq. km (Source: FSI, 2015)
  • Major forests areas includes Shivalik, Bir  and Mand
  • District Hoshiarpur has the maximum Forest cover (687 sq.km) followed by Ropar (391 sq.km) in the State.
  • Factors affecting forest & wildlife in Punjab:

1.      Increased urbanization

2.      Change in land use pattern

3.      Degradation of natural habitat & pollution

4.      Increased demand of timber

5.      Deforestation

6.      Invasive alien species especially Lantana camara, Parthenium hysterophorus & Eichhornia crassipes

7.      Poaching & illegal trade of wildlife products

  • Forest fire and encroachments
  • Soil erosion in shivaliks tracts


  • State Symbols of Punjab:

    State Tree: Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)

    State Animal: Black Buck (Antelope cervicapra)

    State Bird: Northern Goshawk (Accipeter gentillis)

  • Cropland ecosystem dominant in the state as 84% area under agriculture
  • Over emphasis on high yielding varieties of crops and exotic breeds of farm animals
  • Threatened Flora & Fauna: 6 species of angiosperms, 2 species of pteridophytes, 1 species of mammal, 2 species of birds and 2 species of reptiles
  • 6 indigenous breeds of domesticated animals are  under threatened category
  • Deterioration of potential Biodiversity Heritage Site
  • Major threats to wetland ecosystem of the state include weed growth (Eichornia crassipes), reduction in water flow, siltation, deforestation, pollution, grazing in wetland zone and encroachment
  • Wildlife Protected Area consist of 12 wild life sanctuaries (Patiala-6, Sangrur-1, Hoshiarpur -1, Ferozpur-1, Ropar-1, Gurdaspur-1, 1 covering districts of Ferozpur, Amritsar and Kapurthala) 2 zoological park/tiger safari (Zoological Park- Mohali, Tiger Safari- Ludhiana), 3 Deer Parks(Ludhiana-1, Patiala-1, Bathinda-1) and 2 community reserves (Hoshiarpur & Gurdaspur).
  • Other Major threats to Biodiversity:

1.      Lack of appreciation: Treated as free goods of nature

2.      Habitat destruction & degradation

3.      Environmental pollution & climate change

4.      Unsustainable developmental model and urbanization

5.      Infestation of invasive alien species


  • Punjab contributed 27.3% of Rice and 36.8% of Wheat to the Central pool during 2015-16.
  • Cropping Intensity : 190% (Source: Economic Survey of Punjab , 2016-17)
  • Wheat and paddy covers the major portion of the gross cropped area as area under these two crops has increased from 80% in 2010-11 to 82% in 2015-16.
  • Area under wheat was 35.06 lakh  hectares and area  under Paddy to 29.70 lakh hectares in  2015-16 (Source: Economic Survey of Punjab , 2016-17)
  • The production of foodgrains was 278.46 lakh metric tons, which increased to 283.93 lakh metric tons in 2015-16(P) showing an increase of 2%.
  • Extensive reliance of Punjab farmers on intensive wheat and rice cultivation has had adverse environmental consequences in the form of rapid ground water depletion and soil degradation.
  • Punjab agriculture is known for use of high yielding varieties. During the year 2015-16, 100 % area of wheat, rice and 87% area of maize were under high yielding varieties.
  • The State has an excellent network of irrigation facilities. During 2015-16, 99% of Gross area sown and 100% of net area sown was irrigated and Irrigation intensity is 188 in 2015-16(P)
  • Tube wells are the main source of irrigation in the State followed by canals. The net area irrigated by tube wells was 29.36 lakh hectares in 2015-16.
  • Total consumption of NPK fertilizers in Punjab has increased from 19.11 lakh nutrient tones in 2010-11 to 19.43 lakh nutrient tons in 2015-16 (P).
  • Consumption of chemical fertilizers (NPK) per hectare of gross cropped area has also increased from 242 Kgs in 2010-11 to 247 Kgs per hectare in 2015-16 (P)
  • Farm Mechanization: The State has 5,17,743 Tractors i.e on an average 76 tractors per thousand hectares (Net sown area as on 30.06.2016)


  • The total installed plant capacity for electric power generation is 4967MW in 2016-17.
  • The electricity Installed capacity from Hydro & thermal is 2327MW and 2640 MW in 2016-17.
  • Electricity Consumption Pattern in Punjab: Domestic: 103442KWH, Commercial: 29693 KWH, Industrial: 123480 KWH, Agricultural: 102236 KWH & Others: 8976 KWH.
  • Projected Power Consumption: 55127 Million Units (2021-2022)
  • T&D losses 14.73% (2015-16) and are expected to come down to 14.50%  during 2016 (Source: Economic Survey of Punjab, 2016)
  • Total installed Renewable Energy Power Projects (as on 31 July 2017) : 1518.45 MW

    Solar: 879.9 MW,  Biomass/Baggasse co-generation : 418.40MW, Biomass : 62.5MW, Mini Hydel :156.15MW, Waste to Energy :1.50MW (Source: http://peda.gov.in as cited on 11.08.2017)

            Solid Waste

  • Growth of population, industrialization, urbanization and western lifestyle resulting in generation of large volumes of solid waste.
  • Three  (Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar) cities with more than 1 million population contributing to large volumes of municipal waste.
  • Solid Waste Collected & Treated 2015-16:
    • MSW: 1670122.93 MT Collected & 1861.5 MT Treated
    • BMW: 4783.325 MT Collected & 4783.325 MT Treated
    • Hazardous Waste: 27454.98 MT Collected & 27454.98 MT Treated (Source: Punjab Pollution Control Board, 2017)
  • Many towns do not have proper collection and transportation facilities and MSW disposed off on landfill sites and remains uncovered resulting in environmental pollution of surrounding area.
  • Improved health care facilities led to  generation of high volume of bio-medical waste.
  • Biomedical waste generated from small clinics, dispensaries, etc.(which do not require authorization from PPCB) not disposed off properly.
  • Lack of data on generation and management of e-waste.