IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
IN TERMS of its rapidly deteriorating air quality, Kashmir is fast catching up with Delhi. A recent study conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Board (PCB) has brought to light the startling fact that vehicular pollution has reached alarming proportions in the valley. Experts fear that if the issue is not addressed post-haste, the situation may get out of hand.
The study is likely to cloud Kashmir's image of being a tourist-friendly state which people visit for a whiff of "fresh air". The high pollution levels in the region - particularly in Srinagar city - are ascribed to the steady increase in the number of diesel vehicles and the state government's inadequate measures to check emissions.
"The unabated growth of diesel vehicles in the state is posing a serious threat to our fragile environment. Nothing tangible is being done to check their emission levels," laments Bilquees Ara, senior scientific officer, PCB, who headed the team that conducted the study. Another significant finding pertains to the valley becoming a dumping ground. "Polluting vehicles, which have been phased out in other states like Delhi in conformity with their relatively stringent emission laws, are being sold here at low prices," points out Ara.
During air quality monitoring conducted by the PCB in Srinagar it was found that the SPM (suspended particulate matter) level at Lal Chowk - sited in the heart of the city - was 300 microgrammes per cubic metre as against the permissible 200 microgrammes per cubic metre. Even in the posh Nehru Park locality, situated on the banks of Dal lake, SPM was recorded at 251 microgrammes per cubic metre. The problem was more acute at the tourist reception centre, where the SPM level was 366 microgrammes per cubic metre.
Scientists have recommended that the number of diesel vehicles be regulated to reduce the levels of SPM, PAH
(polyaromatic hydrocarbons) and oxides of nitrogen. The state government has also been urged to set up an expert committee to check fuel quality. Regional transport officer Sheikh Fayaz says the authorities are alive to the
situation and "around 60 old minibuses have been ordered off the roads". Fayaz adds that "it is the duty of the PCB to
intimate us about the results of their tests, which they have not done so far".
Row over research