The effects of pollution in Kashmir were recently detailed by the experts of pulmonary medicine who noted that the pollution is taking its toll in Kashmir as well and they were the ones who noted the burden of the lung diseases in Srinagar and highlighted that the same was the highest across the country. The shocking figures they reveal is that nearly 10 thousand deaths occurring annually in J&K are attributed to pollution. The ground reality did not cause a stir, but has prompted Masoodi to raise the issue in the Parliament, seeking action and more importantly, to start with, knowing the effects of the pollution caused by the cement factories and the limestone mining—the both of which have wreaked havoc in Srinagar and hardly anyone has so far shown any concern or taken any steps.
Kashmir is a place where even a small alteration will have far-reaching consequences and when we talk about these cement factories and the mining, the process has now reached a point where it has started to manifest effects on the human population—the habitat around these establishments is already facing the heat—and now the manifestation is widening its circle of impact to the point where things could go out of hand if the necessary preventive measures are not taken well in time.
Masoodi’s demand is justified and deserves action from the Government which cannot leave the people of Srinagar and other adjoining areas to die in suffocation or die of lung cancers. Those at the helm of affairs are already aware of the impacts of these factories and the same should have, long back, prompted the necessary action, but unfortunately, that was never seen happening on the ground and these factories, as well as the mining, kept going unabated, without the much-needed intervention of the authorities.
Kashmir is a place which is eco-sensitive and at the same time, fragile. It must be made a point that these factories are shut down permanently and a blanket ban is imposed on limestone mining because that is going to be the only way to save the eco-sensitivity of this place and more importantly, the lives of people. The Government must go ahead with ascertaining the impacts of the pollution caused by these operational cement factories and the limestone mining because only that would drive more attention of the people, who will become aware of what they are living in and the same will push the authorities to take strict action.