Srinagar: Barely 11 kilometers from the city Center Lal Chowk, Lasjan locality tops the list of most polluted areas of the valley in 2017, according to data compiled by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB).
The annual ”Air Quality Monitoring Report” of SPCB has shown that Lasjan had 360.37 micrograms/ cubic meter quality of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) which is much higher than the permissible limit of 60 micrograms/ meter cube.
A monitoring device in Srinagar had shown this at 88.99 micrograms/meter cube, far better than that of Lasjan, while two more monitoring stations at Khonmoh have shown the RSPM at 156.76 in 2017, while Khrew area of Pampore has 137.36 in 2017.
The main reason for the higher levels of pollution, according to officials of the Board, is due to presence of stone crushers and brickfields that release an enormous quantity of dust and smoke into the area.
The locals say that kilns need different fuels and many consume enormous quantity of coal.
”We need thousands of tons of coal annually to make one kiln functional”, said Manzoor Ahmad Malik, owner of a brickfield.
According to the residents of Lasjan and the adjoining areas, this situation has now been taking toll on their health.
”We have been living in this environment for years and it has taken a toll on our lives. The condition gets worse day after day”, said Sajad Ahmad, a shopkeeper.
Dr. Nisar Ahmad, Block Medical Officer (BDO) at Summerburgh feels that pollution has impacted health of the people living there.
”We receive around 70-80 patients in a month complaining about respiratory ailments, irrespective of age groups”, he said adding that this was quite high as compared to other areas.