Monday, February 2, 2015

5 ideas to cope with high population growth

While we Indians boast about being the world's biggest democracy, there's pain in the ass, being the most populated country. This post is not to discuss about benefits plus to huge populations.

And our population growth is quite alarming that by 2028, will become most populous nation in the world, beating China.

It is expected to increase by 400 million by 2050 which will equal to the populations of the U.S. and China combined.

India covers only 3.4 per cent of the land surface of the globe. That presents us with biggest problem of space congestion, apart from resources crunch in multiple aspects.


70 years ago

In 1940s, our population used to be less than 40 crores. And the birth rate used to be at 34.5 per 1,000 and the death rate at 22.4, there is no solution to the problem of such overwhelming population increase, whatever may be done agriculturally, industrially, politically.

Millions of Indians are born, live, breed, and die on the side walks and never have a roof over their heads.

Modern contraceptive techniques were certainly out of reach of such women, financially, intellectually, and practically. While it was case of 1940s, even after 70 years, the net growth is no less.

While we don't have food supply problem any more as it used to be, we are very much vulnerable to all other possible problems, thanks to failure of population control measures.

As per 2011 data,

  • current birth rate is 20.97 births/1,000 population

  • Death rate is 7.48 deaths/1,000 population

The net rate of growth remains quite high and increasing, thanks to scientific and  medical advances in increasing average human life expectancy.

Population density
India's  current population density is  421 people per sq km of land area and has been almost continuously on the rise.

We have more people in a sq km compared to many countries. Long back Indian Govt has brought up urban ceiling act, to ensure land pockets are not vested in few wealthy individuals, but others also to have ownership.

So how to we cater to increase land mass to meet the needs of growing population? It might be futuristic question, but we all have some good preparation & strategy in place when we are pushed to the corner. Hope that's far from now. So are our following ideas, to tackle the situation. At the outset, they are very unusual, and perhaps unthinkable.  But it's natural.

Out of the box ideas to cope with challenges

  1. Increase land mass                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The biggest challenge is how to achieve this !  Which countries have maximum land, and why would they be generous in sharing the same with India?   We don't know, but we have to try at least. There are vast stretches of uninhabited lands in countries like China & Russia. It's unusual even think of getting the required support or cooperation from them. But we are to respond to, as we will soon be going through unusual times with unprecedented challenges.

  2. alternate housing strategies, to optimise usage in a given land to increase affordable housing.

  3. Control birth rate
    While this is not an out of the box idea,  the government has to focus its efforts on socially conservative and poorer north Indian states, where fertility rates are quite high.
    For this we must go back to past & see where these succeeded and where it failed and why.  While being democratic in spirit & free enterprise system, we must have some discipline imposed on us, at least in this aspect.

Moon, other solar system & galaxy   To be pursued with urgency. While it has been so far proactive, and seen as optional, it should be thoroughly seen if this can be viable option. This is where we have high uncertainty as well as unlimited possibilities!

  1. To live on water

    [caption id="attachment_2567" align="aligncenter" width="323"]Living on Water Pic Courtesy: BBC[/caption]

    In countries like US and in certain parts of Europe , there have been dwellings formed as boat houses, for simple reason that, they were not able to afford to land costs. While what happened there is not absolutely true, that gives us some grey area to deliberate upon. While it can't be an affordable housing solution, while carrying other dangers of water pollutions & climatic uncertainties.

The discussion will be on...and would like to know what your thoughts.

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