Winter Notches Up Pollution Levels In Sgr

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SRINAGAR — The ongoing winter has notched up the level of pollution in Srinagar city due to the increase in the outflow of bio-fuel emissions, experts have said.

A study jointly conducted by a team of scientists from Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and University of Kashmir has found that air quality deteriorates significantly during the winter in Srinagar, otherwise known for its pristine environs.

It revealed that cold temperatures with dry conditions along with elevated levels of bio-fuel emissions from the domestic sector are responsible for particulate pollution in the winter.

The city is already grappling with the high level of pollution and the heaps of garbage remain a common sight here as the Municipal Authorities have failed to clear the roads of litter.

The floods in 2014 only increased the pollution level in the city and lack of check on illegal constructions has added to the people’s woes. The heaps of garbage with the stray animals flocking on the roads are a common scene in Srinagar.

The city has a dubious distinction of being listed as the tenth worst polluted city in the world. The World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) global urban air pollution database of the year 2016 put  14 of the world’s most polluted cities in India —among which Srinagar ranked tenth with 113 micrograms per cubic metre of PM 2.5 concentration.

 The WHO database measured the levels of fine particulate matter from more than 4,300 cities in 108 countries.  The study noted,  “ On some days, the air pollution in Srinagar was worse than that in Delhi and as bad as Kolkata.”

Officials said that the State Pollution Control Board’s findings for 2018  show considerably high levels of pollution at different locations in the city like Boulevard, Dalgate and Jahangir Chowk.

“While the overall pollution in Srinagar (in winter) is as bad as in Kolkata, on some days, it is as bad or worse than Delhi,” Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, a noted environmentalist, said.

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