Air Quality

2 mins read
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Parts of Kashmir valley remain covered in a dense layer of fog in the mornings these days. This phenomenon has yet again drawn the attention towards air quality in Srinagar. The government has already set an aim of reducing PM10 levels by 2025 to improve the Air Quality Index in Srinagar district. This objective emerges from the concerning revelation that air quality in Kashmir has steadily declined over the past three years, according to data compiled by the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Board. Winters exacerbate the air quality concerns. The Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM or PM10) has witnessed a concerning surge at all four monitoring stations in Srinagar over the last three years. This underscores the need for immediate and comprehensive measures to address the sources of pollution and improve the overall air quality. The Action Plan for Reclaiming & Greening of Hills identifies three specific locations for targeted development through extensive plantation and green cover. This initiative seeks to create a visible impact, particularly in areas affected by stone quarrying, mining, and barren patches on the mountains. Plantation drives and creating green buffers can act as a natural filter, absorbing pollutants and contributing to the overall improvement of air quality. However, addressing air quality concerns requires a multifaceted approach that goes beyond afforestation initiatives. Strategic urban planning, sustainable practices, regulatory interventions, and community participation must be seamlessly integrated to combat the escalating air quality crisis in Kashmir. One of the primary contributors to the worsening air pollution problem in Jammu & Kashmir is the proliferation of vehicles. The rapid increase in vehicular emissions, especially in urban centers, significantly compromises the quality of the air. Implementing stringent measures to regulate vehicular emissions, promoting public transport, and encouraging carpooling are imperative steps towards curbing this alarming trend. Rampant construction activities, brick kilns, and cement factories also play a substantial role in deteriorating air quality. These entities collectively emit pollutants, contributing to the particulate matter in the air. Implementing strict emission norms for industrial units, regulating construction activities, and promoting sustainable building practices are essential measures to control pollution at its source. The identified spots for greening and reclamation under the Action Plan present an opportunity for environmental restoration. While plantation drives are crucial, their success depends on sustained efforts in maintaining and nurturing the green cover. Additionally, creating awareness about the importance of green spaces and their role in air purification can mobilize community participation in preserving these areas. Public awareness campaigns about the detrimental impact of air pollution on health can foster a sense of responsibility among citizens. Moreover, educating the public about the health risks associated with poor air quality can motivate behavioral changes that positively impact the environment. Strategic urban planning that emphasizes green spaces, afforestation, and efficient waste management can create a healthier living environment. Incentivizing sustainable practices and technologies can further motivate industries to adopt environmentally friendly measures. Governments can play a pivotal role by providing incentives, subsidies, and recognition to businesses that actively contribute to environmental conservation

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