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New study finds reasons for poor air quality in Kashmir
2/21/2018 10:09:58 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Feb 21: A new study has highlighted the reasons for poor air quality in Kashmir and how it affects the health system.
The study conducted by Dr Shakil Romshoo, Irfan Rashid, Srinivas Reka, Gufran Beig, Zainab Q Hakim have conducted a detailed study on poor quality in Srinagar.
The study says that long-term observation of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at Srinagar (Kashmir Valley-relatively cleaner environment) in India was analyzed with model simulations during the study period 2013-14.
"Results indicate that the air quality of Srinagar city deteriorates significantly in particular during winter period, where level of PM2.5touches a peak value of 348 g/m³ against the Indian permissible limit of 60 g/m³. The emissions due to domestic coal usage are found to be 1246.4 tons/year that accounts for 84% of the total annual emissions," it reads.
The study has concluded that although the fundamental reason for the high pollution during winter season is the medium range transport of air mass from the pollution rich region and elevated level of emissions from coal and bio-fuel, the huge variability within the four winter months can only be explained by local weather which plays a decisive role in deciding the air quality of the region.
"The cold temperature with dry weather keeps the boundary layer near the surface during nights and hence responsible for highest pollution in regime period w1. Although the local biofuel emissions increases during regime w2 and temperature goes further colder but frequent snowfall washes away and keeps in check the expected high level of PM2.5. When the winter period comes to an end in regime w3, temperature starts to go up and usage of biofuel decreases. During this period winds start to blow from cleaner areas and hence level of PM2.5 starts to decline and sets around 50 ?g/m³," it reads.
The study says that several places are slowly found to be environmentally degrading due to ever increasing tourists and associated emissions.
"The geographical location of the region also plays an important role, which may result in long-range transport of pollutants," it reads.
The study says that Kashmir Valley has become the largest urban center across the whole Himalayan region and is undergoing areal expansion and facing high rates of population growth.
"The increased urbanization and the increased use of biofuels in the valley are disturbing the environment," it reads.
During winter people use traditional firepots known as kangris, ignited by charcoal, to keep themselves warm outside and burn firewood in a hollow room known as hamam for central indoor heating, it added.
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