Srinagar, Sep 12: Two years after New Delhi released the funds, the State Pollution Control Board has initiated a process for setting up the stations for air-quality monitoring.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) sanctioned Continuous Automatic Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) under National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network two years ago for Srinagar in an attempt to fight air pollution.
At the time of sanctioning of the stations, the CPCB even released its 50% share—Rs 55 lakh—and asked the state to arrange the remaining 50% from its own resources.
An official of State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) said the board was told to set up stations in the “shortest possible time”, as pollution has increased over the years.
Over the last two years, the SPCB failed to set up the stations for monitoring the air quality in Srinagar.
However, the SPCB has now initiated the process for setting up of station after government directives.
The government issued directives after The Kashmir Monitor carried a news report last month that SPCB has kept funds unspent, which were released by the Centre two years ago for setting up of stations, a source at SPCB said.
Director SPCB, Syed Nadeem Qadri, said they found a potential bidder recently for setting up the stations.
“The government has asked us to further negotiate with them. Hopefully, the project will be executed soon,” he said.
An official of SPCB said that facility would help to provide information about real time and peak concentration levels of critical pollutants.
Amidst the delay, the air pollution in the city has been rising due to vehicular population and factories, the official said.
“The concerned authorities like Srinagar Municipal Corporation has failed to take any measures like spraying water at the sites to prevent particulate matter from polluting the air,” the official said.
He said the suspended particulate matter (SPM) and respiratory suspended particulate matter (RSPM) have witnessed “a steep rise” over the years due to increasing number of vehicles, crushers, and factories.