Srinagar, Nov 10: Urgent measures are needed to stop open garbage and biomass burning as they release toxic gases contributing to air pollution and adversely affecting public health, said a senior scientist at the Pollution Control Board in Srinagar.
Dr Bilqees Ara said that according to data shared with the Central Pollution Control Board, Srinagar ranks as the fourth cleanest air city in India.
However, she stressed the importance of addressing the two primary sources of air pollution during autumn: open burning of garbage and biomass.
“Open burning of biomass and garbage introduces toxic gases into the air, with the added concern of plastic, rubber, and other harmful materials present in the waste. The emission of toxic gases contributes to air pollution, impacting the health of the general public,” Dr Ara said while urging the youth to actively participate in preventing open burning and creating awareness among the public.
She said there is a need for proper ventilation in homes to mitigate the effects of indoor air pollution. Combustion pollutants released during activities such as cooking with wood can have detrimental effects on health. Major indoor combustion pollutants include carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), fine and ultrafine particles, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and formaldehyde, she informed.
Dr Bilqees also mentioned the risks associated with smoking in enclosed spaces, saying toxic elements generated by smoking not only harm smokers but also pose risks to the other people present there. So, collective efforts are needed to maintain a pollution-free environment and air, she stressed.
In August this year, Srinagar secured 4th position among Top Ranking Cities of India in the Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan – 2023 (Clean Air Survey) conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MEFCC) under its National Clean Air Programme.
Srinagar has the fourth spot among clean air cities with a population exceeding 10 lakhs. The city follows Indore, Agra and Thane City, which secured 1st, 2nd and 3rd ranks respectively.