The effects of pollution are very much visible in Kashmir; there is less rain and snow has, as if, vanished. The climatic conditions are witnessing sharp changes and the same are affecting the overall system which protects this land, making it different from any other place in the world. The time of year, when the weather should be warm, there is bone-chilling cold, and abnormal weather activities, and at the time when it should be cold, with snowflakes falling in a peculiar rhythm, there is a burst of sharp sunshine. The environment in Kashmir is sensitive and any deviation, no matter how small, is enough to disturb the equilibrium.
Over the past many decades, Kashmir has experienced this. Numerous brick kilns have truly caused havoc, several cement factories spew tonnes of pollutants into the air, and dozens of crushers from Kashmir’s north to south are functioning as devastation agents to the region’s delicate environment. This is not all; there is more in the form of expanded construction projects and a sharp increase in the number of automobiles, both of which are significantly boosting the discharge of particulate matter into the environment.
Pollution harms people in addition to harming the environment. Recently, researchers gathered here stated that pollution is linked to about 10,000 deaths reported each year in J&K. In addition to Srinagar city having the highest incidence of lung cancer in the entire country, they also highlighted the significant burden of lung diseases in J&K. These statistics ought to be sufficient to shake policymakers out of their dreamy slumber of Kashmir as a paradise on earth.
No longer exclusive to large cities like Mumbai and Delhi, pollution and its harmful impacts on the environment and individuals are also a glaring reality in Kashmir. Everyone should be concerned about the decreased precipitation and the lack of snow, especially in the plains during the winter. The abrupt climate changes demand an immediate response from the authorities, who must start by cracking down hard on the factories that are flagrantly breaking the law and producing significant pollution right in front of them.
To ensure that the excess carbon produced in the environment is at least partially absorbed by the green protectors in the form of trees, long-term actions to increase green cover must also be implemented. However, the action component, under which these cement factories, brick kilns, and crushers must be shut down, or there could be a scientific model put in place to ensure zero pollution despite the 100 per cent operation of these factories that spew venom, is still crucial for having an impact on environmental conservation and the prevention of pollution. This is because the desperate situation demands that desperate measures be taken.