Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Air Pollution in the Kashmir Valley
To get a feel of the kind of pollutants that hang in the air we breathe in daily in the city or other major towns, we turned to the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to get a sense of the damage we suffer. Mohammad Shafi Keenu is the regional director for Kashmir and if he is the one you depended on to warn about the damage to the health and environment from pollution, you might want to find a different source to appraise you about the ill-effects of pollutants in the environment.
Keenu seems to have a standard in his mind with which to measure the level of pollution in the Kashmir valley. He is prone to say we’re still far away from high pollution seen in Indian cities like New Delhi and Mumbai. This is the type of knowledge an elementary school student would share with you. What Keenu’s imagination fails to comprehend is the damage the rising level of pollution can cause to the fragile environment of Kashmir. According to him, the SPCB has installed four air monitoring devices in Srinagar, Khanmoh, Khrew and Lasjan areas. The devices record the levels of Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM). The results, according to Keenu, are not that bad to cause a concern.
If only one cared to look closely at the official data about pollutants in the air, we would have a good picture of the kind of challenge we are confronting. The data pin points the source of the rising level of pollution in Kashmir: increasing number of vehicles on the roads, stone crushers and factories. There are thirteen cement factories belching out smoke and dust in the air and, with demand for cement rising, it is feared it would get worse over time. For years, people living in the vicinity of these cement factories, along with many experts, have been raising a voice about the ill-effects of the pollutants released by the factories in the air, but nobody seems to heed these warnings.
Read the full article @ the Kashmir Monitor