The city needs a breather
From the past several years an effort is being made to ensure that most of routes in Srinagar and elsewhere are provided with e-mode of transport. Be it e-rickshaw or e-buses we see lot of such vehicles making rounds of the city roads.
Last year as well as this year also several fleets of e-buses were provided to the Jammu and Kashmir Road Transport Corporation (JKRTC). Even in July 2019 few e-buses buses were provided to the corporation and these buses were made to run on various routes in the city and other areas.
The start of electric bus service is a step forward towards providing eco friendly public transportation with modern facilities to the commuters in the region. The use of e-Buses will help to abate pollution levels and provide a better option of travel for the commuters who have been left gasping for breath.
The start of e-buses is the need of the hour as Srinagar city was listed as the tenth worst polluted city in the world according to a World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) global urban air pollution database in 2020.
According to the figures 14 of the world’s most polluted cities are in India — among them Srinagar ranks tenth with 113 micrograms per cubic metre of PM 2.5 concentration.
The WHO database measured the levels of fine particulate matter from more than 4,300 cities in 108 countries. Though, the WHO data was questioned by some officials in Kashmir but the WHO said that the data compiled and used by it was recorded at PM 2.5 level in outdoor ambient air.
The WHO data was supported by a study jointly conducted by a team of scientists from Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and University of Kashmir found that air quality deteriorates significantly during winter in Srinagar, otherwise known for its pristine environs.
It revealed that cold temperatures with dry conditions along with elevated levels of biofuel emissions from the domestic sector are responsible for particulate pollution in the winter.
Kashmir, known as a paradise on earth has been fighting the rise in air pollution since past many years now. It is a different story altogether that the past governments over the years failed to act on this crucial issue.
Kashmir has been witnessing a tremendous rise in the number of commercial and private vehicles. Every household in Kashmir valley and elsewhere in the UT owns almost few cars and two wheelers as the public transport system here is in a pretty bad shape.
This being the reason that the air pollution levels have turned alarmingly high. However, resorting to the use of e-buses will contribute in reducing the pollution levels. The move will also help in improving the quality of mass transportation.
Public transport in both the twin cities of Jammu and Srinagar needs a lot of push and the introduction of e-buses is a welcome move and the citizens too need to ensure that the service is preserved and promoted.
Movement of e-buses and rickshaws has been ensured on almost all city routes and if these services are made compatible with the modern day requirements their use will ensure that people will rely heavily on such services and the use of private vehicles will decrease with the passage of time.
This will ensure that the air pollution levels will witness a severe decline as the overuse of private vehicles across Kashmir is proving the biggest contributor to pollution.