The early rain and snow have brought the much sought relief to many especially the air quality which remains poor. Environment watchers have sounded caution as the dangerous level of air quality may turn into dangerously unhealthy “snow globes”. Generally the prevailing smog season gives ample opportunities for cold, stagnant air to fill with pollution, turning cities into dangerously unhealthy snow globes. For the air to get this polluted, in addition to needing a good amount of human help from the combustion of fuels and burning of crops and garbage, there needs to be specific atmospheric conditions that let the air remain still enough for pollution to accumulate. Under such atmospheric conditions, warmer air sits on top of denser and colder air near the ground. Since that cold air has no place to go thanks to the warm lid placed atop it, it just sits there gathering pollution like a hazy snow-globe. At this time of year, the large landmass to the north begins to cool down considerably forming a dense, cold air mass known as the Siberia high pressure system contributed to dangerous levels of air pollution in cities across northern India and Pakistan. Besides the worsening air quality raises the question on solid waste management. The malady lies in unchecked large scale concretisation has added to environment problem also. Degradation of environment, haphazard growth and piling up of solid waste are the appropriate recipe for any tragedy. The old vehicles need to be phased out in a time bound manner in the city and alternative fuels like CNG or LPG should be made available to the public. Public transport system needs to be augmented to discourage the private or personalised transport. Appropriate steps need to be taken to check pollution caused by factories in and around Jammu. Health of the people should be the prime concern of the government and so is it imperative for people to safeguard the environment at their level.
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