Srinagar: The State Pollution Control Board is yet to set up stations for monitoring air quality in the city, even after New Delhi released the funds for the same two years ago.
Air pollution in Srinagar city has been increasing at a rapid rate. An attempt to overcome it was made by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which has earlier sanctioned Continuous Automatic Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) under National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring programme
At the time of sanctioning of the stations, the CPCB even released its 50 percent share in the programme’s funding, Rs 55 lakh, and asked the state government to arrange for the remaining amount from its own resources.
An official of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) said the board was told to set up stations in the shortest possible time as pollution levels have increased over the years. This order, he said, was not possible to carry out.
“The SPCB has failed to set up the stations, and the funds have remained unutilised,” the official said.
“The concerned authorities like Srinagar Municipal Corporation have failed to take any measures like spraying water. Early morning sweepers used to sprinkle water on the roads before the cleaners would start sweeping them, they would also spray water in the smaller lanes and bylanes to settle the dust so that it doesn’t hang suspended in the air as one would disturb it by sweeping. Now they sweep without sprinkling water and pollute the fresh morning air,” he added
Due to the increasing number of vehicles, crushers and factories in and around the city, suspended particulate matter (SPM) and respiratory suspended particulate matter (RSPM) have seen an alarming increase.
Director SPCB Syed Nadeem Qadri said tenders floated by the board had received a poor response. “We have sent requisition for re-tendering. And we have also raised this issue with the government for negotiations with bidding companies. Hopefully, it will be done in a few months,” he added.