'Finalise Action Plan For Combating Pollution Levels In Twin Capitals'

Srinagar city - KO File Pic: Abid Bhat

SRINAGAR - Taking serious note over rising pollution in Jammu and Srinagar cities, National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the government to finalise action plan for combating pollution levels in twin capitals.

There has been a steady increase in pollution levels in twin capitals-Jammu and Kashmir-thus taking a heavy toll on the health of people. The NGT has issued the directives as air pollution has been a matter of environmental and growing health concerns in the Jammu and Srinagar.

“Although the pollution level has not risen to alarming level but we are concerned about Jammu and Srinagar cities, which is a matter of concern. It is responsibility of everyone to ensure pollution level is reduced,” an official of Pollution Control Board (PCB) told KNS.

The Jammu and Kashmir recently framed a seven member committee headed by the Secretary, Forest Ecology, and Environment Department while as deputy commissioner of capital cities, Member Secretary J&K State Pollution Control Board, Director Industries and Commerce Department, Director Urban Local bodies J&K, Director Agriculture, Joint Commissioner Transport Department are its members to frame action plan to combat air pollution.

“Sanction is hereby accorded to the constitution of monitoring committee for preparation of action plan to control air pollution in capital cities i.e Jammu and Srinagar,” a government order reads.

“The terms of reference of the monitoring committee shall also monitor the programme closely and meet on a monthly basis for implementation of action plan for improving air quality in capital cities i.e Jammu & Srinagar. The committee shall be serviced by the Forest, Environment & Ecology Department,” the order reads.

The NGT in its directives has said, “The action plans may take into account the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), the Clean Air Programme and the action plan prepared by Central Pollution Control Board as well as all other relevant factors.”

Official figures of JK, Pollution Control Board reveals, “Among the five air quality monitoring stations in Srinagar, the air quality from April 2018 to March 2019 near SKIMS Soura had been recorded 72.69 micrograms per cubic metre as opposed to the average permissible limit 40 ug/m3. While as the air quality stations recorded 72.97 ug/m3 at Jehangir Chowk, 69.58 ug/m3 at Boulevard near Dalgate, while 67.24 ug/m3, and 53.59 ug/m3 at Hyderpora and Rajbagh, respectively. (KNS)

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