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|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 76* US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Srinagar is currently 4.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
Moderate 76 AQI US
|Wednesday, Mar 6
Moderate 89 AQI US
|Thursday, Mar 7
Moderate 70 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 8
Moderate 67 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 9
Moderate 62 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 10
Moderate 70 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 11
Moderate 70 AQI US
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Srinagar is the largest city and the summer capital of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in the Kashmir Valley on the banks of the Jhelum River. It is the northernmost city of India with over one million people. The 2011 population was in actual fact 1.18 million people but this will have increased by now.
At the beginning of 2021, Srinagar was experiencing air quality which was categorised as “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with a US AQI reading of 110. This classification falls in line with recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The recorded PM2.5 concentration was 39.2 µg/m³. With levels such as these, the advice would be to close all doors and windows to prevent the ingress of dirty air. Those of a sensitive disposition should avoid outdoor activities until the quality improves. If this is unavoidable, then a good quality mask should be worn. The operation of an air purifier would be advantageous if one is available.
Ambient air quality is deteriorating due to the widespread use of coal and fuelwood for domestic and commercial heating. A sharp increase in vehicle registrations and the absence of mobility planning have led to an increase in emissions from transport.
Research has found that the air quality deteriorates during the winter months in Srinagar, which is famous as an important tourist destination worldwide. Dangerous levels of PM2.5 are recorded during winter months as the air carries five times more tiny particulate matter than the permissible limit. This is mainly due to the way that the homes are heated during the colder months. Dried animal dung cakes, which are cheap, convenient and readily available are used in domestic stoves to both heat the home and cook food.
This recently released report also said that the PM2.5 level responsible for poor health had reached 348 µg/m³ (micrograms per cubic meter) in the winter months, which is five times the limit.
The report also said that the main reason for this is the increased burning of coal for domestic purposes. Burning coal for domestic use emits more than 1,246 tonnes every year, which is 84 per cent of the total annual emissions.
It was claimed that for several days the level of air pollution in Srinagar was worse than in Delhi, in fact, it is the worst among all the Himalayan states of the country.
According to a report, air pollution has reduced the life expectancy of Jammu people by less than 3.3 years, 3.2 years in Kathua, 3.2 years in Samba, 4.2 years in Srinagar and 3 years in Anantnag. Particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) in India has increased rapidly by 42 per cent in two decades. 84 per cent of the people in India are in areas which are more polluted than acceptable air quality standards. According to the new report, particles floating in the air were weakening the health of humans before the corona infection. The increasing number of vehicles is cited as the main reason.
According to environmentalists, an increasing number of vehicles and smoke originating from industries are considered to be the major reason. Even the pollution in the water in the rivers is continuously increasing.
Adulteration of fuel with cheap hydrocarbons is also considered a major cause of pollution. Despite this, no major steps are being taken for the investigation. Industries are not controlled. The correct steps have not yet been taken for waste management.
The team of scientists will now examine the air quality of Jammu. They will see which cities need to reduce pollution and which cities can be made pollution-free. For this, the Central University of Jammu is being linked with the National Clean Air Mission. The team of scientists from the University of Jammu will act as a nodal centre and provide their complete reports to the scientists. The objective of the National Clean Air Mission is to formulate appropriate strategies and plans to reduce pollution by twenty to thirty per cent by the year 2024.
One-quarter of India's population suffers from pollution. Air Quality Life Index-AQLI means that India does not meet the World Health Organisation standards in terms of the quality of air it needs to live. Life expectancy in India is reduced by five years, accordingly. That is, an average Indian is forced to live five years less because of air pollution.
The government needs to offer some type of subsidy which would encourage people to use higher-grade fuel. This higher-grade fuel produces far fewer pollutants than the adulterated fuels which are often used.
It is a shame for the state that the World Health Organisation has included two major cities Jammu and Srinagar among the most polluted cities. In a report a few months ago, the city of Srinagar was ranked 10th in the list of polluted cities in the world, while Jammu was ranked 20th. However, this report was rejected by the central and state governments. Surprisingly, the air is found polluted in many cities and towns of the state in the daily air pollution index. The state currently has 1,657,433 registered vehicles. These include 996,806 in Jammu division and 660,627 vehicles in Kashmir. Their number is continuously increasing.
This is the biggest cause of air pollution. Adulteration of fuel is also considered a major cause of pollution. Despite this, no major steps are being taken to investigate. Cheap hydrocarbons carry a much lower rate of tax than gasoline so for poorer drivers it is more economical too but some cheap hydrocarbons and add it to their gasoline.