Serious air pollution engulfing Jammu, Srinagar

Increasingly feeling comfy with fast life, materialistic pursuits, dwindling greenery and vegetation, mercilessly limiting the size and contents of forests, indifference towards planting and preserving trees, drying and muddied water bodies and the like are piling up all against us in Jammu and Srinagar. Continuously, but alarmingly the quality of air in both the cities is deteriorating but is anyone concerned? The immediate after effects of air pollution hardly need to be emphasised but how much each of us contributes towards generating air pollution in one way or the other may not be that much important in as much as the fact that very less or no concern is shown towards this issue both by the people as well as by the Government. Yes, Jammu and Srinagar are witnessing not only increased levels of air pollution but also the noise pollution and water pollution besides dust on roads, garbage including tyre burning on roads and lanes too.
A few very pertinent questions as a natural corollary arise. Has Government taken a serious note of it and prepared an action plan tailored to the specific nature and levels of air pollution found in the twin cities? Is periodic expert survey and checking and verification exercise being regularly undertaken to assess and monitor the trend of the increased levels of pollution ? If some preventive and resolvable master plan is prepared by the Government, how long shall that remain confined to files and tossing from one to the other office tables instead of being implemented ? Why is there no perceptible coordination between various Government agencies to tackle the simmering problem with long range deleterious effect? Have we given a practical heed to the directives of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) strictly as per their expert guidelines? We are afraid, the answers are not expected to be positive, assuring and of redeeming nature from the Government.
If we continue to ignore the yellow warning lights currently blinking all around, the next stage will be irretrievable red signals and we may face a situation like in Delhi where even school going children have to wear masks while leaving homes for their schools . Now , it has officially been confirmed, based on the requisite Environmental Data Bank under National Air Monitoring Programme that Jammu and Srinagar have been declared as ‘non- attainment’ cities by the Central Pollution Control Board as standard permissible norms for Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) are being constantly violated. There are a total of 104 such ‘non- attaitment ‘ cities across the country and Jammu and Srinagar figure at serial No. 28 and 2 respectively. Just by a lay man’s assessment the biggest contributors to the accentuating of the problem is from vehicular traffic constantly increasing and even among those vehicles which are emitting clouds of smoke , the sight and smell of which lasts for many minutes making one feel aghast. The violators perhaps are either not conscious of what havoc they were wreaking with the system as they are not stopped and heavily fined right while emitting unusually huge amount of the poisonous gas or they are concerned only about possessing “all the documents” to evade fines by the Traffic personnel.
The question is as to what happened to the fate of the Action Plan which as a result of the directives of the NGT in October 2018 , the State Government prepared, especially in respect of vehicular emission which , again, is the major cause of the air pollution. The condition of Jammu city must cause concern as among 22 districts of the State, it has maximum number of vehicles not only registered but all vehicles meant for Srinagar and places en-route coming from other states have to pass through Jammu . Busy chowks like Jewel Chowk, Janipur Chowk, City Chowk and the like give a random feel of the extent of the gravity of the problem. If the situation is allowed to be handled in a casual way , it might drift away to the detriment of all of us .