Time to reduce air pollution

Air pollution leading to lung cancers and other chronic lung diseases on large scale is a serious health issue
Vehicles moving amid thick fog during mornings in Kashmir. [Representational Image]
Vehicles moving amid thick fog during mornings in Kashmir. [Representational Image] File/GK

Once considered as safe from air pollution, Kashmir no longer represents the same picture. If one goes by the revelations made by doctors and other experts, things are not moving in a right direction on environmental front.

This is directly affecting the health and well being of the people. It is very much evident that the increasing air pollution is not getting the due attention as it should have been at individual and community levels. The ill-effects are very much visible.

According to doctors, Srinagar City has highest incidence of lung cancer in the country and that Jammu and Kashmir has a huge burden of chronic lung diseases. Air pollution is said to be the major risk factor for such diseases. This represents a grim scenario on health front.

If the health of the people is getting affected at such a scale right now due to pollution, what can be the situation in future? The situation on the health front can worsen further if immediate steps are not taken to reduce the air pollution. But nothing substantial is being done for this purpose.

It seems that there are other priorities at individual, community and governmental levels. This serious issue can no longer be ignored. Ignoring it can lead to serious consequences. Awareness must be created among the people on large scale about air pollution.

Then necessary steps must follow also. Experts say that burning of biomass is main source of air pollution in Kashmir. The other sources of pollution include unregulated establishment of cement factories and brick kilns and increasing vehicular traffic on Srinagar roads and the roads in other towns.

The disclosure by doctors that Srinagar City has highest incidence of lung cancer in the country is very shocking. At present Kashmir does not have industries on large scale as outside. Steps are being taken for industrialisation to take shape here.

If that happens, due care should be taken so  that the air is not polluted further. All safety measures need to be taken in this direction. Strategies have to be formulated as how to reduce the pollution from all sources. These strategies need to be implemented on ground as well.

Sometimes even the best of plans remain on papers only and those do not get implemented effectively. Reducing the air pollution is becoming very important with every passing day.

If continued to get neglected, Srinagar and other towns in Kashmir may also land in the category of the places having high level of air pollution.

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