PROF (DR) RD GUPTA
Recently, Jammu and Kashmir has emerged as a region in South Asia where natural vegetation and forest cover is being depleted at an alarming rate. Environmentalists are raising fears that the day “acid rain in the plains of Jammu and black snow in the Kashmir valley” is not far off. It is worth noting that in 1992-1993, signs of acid rain were already observed in the Jammu region with depletion of forests, natural grasslands and other green covers and population explosion. of an environment. Like Hyderabad and Sikanderabad, Jammu has become a twin city separated by the river Tawi. Gandhi Nagar, Shastri Nagar, Nai Basti, Trikuta Nagar, Sainik Colony etc. are located around the city of Jammu, which grew after independence (1947) and is located on the left bank of the river Tavi. such new settlements are designated by the term New City. . The rest of the city on the right bank of the Tavi is known as the old city of Jammu. The city of Jammu is also called the City of Temples. Once the old city of Jammu was considered a very beautiful, neat and clean city due to its natural slope, but today this beautiful temple city is very polluted. Pollution of both air and water, cars and land have adversely affected the city’s environment. Indeed, the environment of Jammu city is rapidly deteriorating. Some facts related to this incident are stated here as follows:- i) Disposal of night soil or human excreta Gone are the days when there was no open defecation on the drain banks of the Nallahs or in the Nally streets. But today, all these Nallahs and Nallis drain the excreta from dry open bucket type latrines into the Tawi river. One of the sacred rivers known as Surya Putri (Daughter of the Sun), Tavi River is now used as a major sewer and drain. The waste of the whole city is discharged there. Solid household waste is dumped there by dozens of trucks every day. But if we talk about its drinking water, it is not even suitable for watering crops.
Till now the night soil or human excreta of the houses of Jammu city was swept by the sweeper brothers and this is still continued in some houses of the city. After collection, the night soil was thrown outside the city and sometimes in a semi-rotted state, it was used as manure for vegetable/crop cultivation. There were strict instructions from the then Health Officer Jammu Municipality to make the city neat and clean. Sweepers swept the bazaars and streets twice a day, morning and evening, with great dedication and devotion. In the streets of Nalli (Small Drains) they often sprinkled water on animal skin bags and threw lime around them to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and flies.
ii) Extinction of Flora and Rakshas: The city of Jammu was once very famous for its cool breeze locally known as ‘Tadu’. It was usually used to blow from 4 am onwards. It’s almost over now. This is for the construction of roads, railway lines, hydroelectric projects, enterprises, residential purposes, etc. Various development activities such as building construction are associated with deforestation and widespread biomass. Trees like Peepal (Ficus religiosa), Banyan or borh (Ficus bengalensis), Mango (Mangifera idica), Jamun (Syzygium cumunii), results in increased oxygen supply and less air pollution.
The city of Jammu was unique in its Sylvian beauty till 1950. It was then surrounded by a large green belt consisting of Ram Nagar, Ploura, Roulki Kheri, Keran, Bahu and Mohamaya, rich in various animals and birds. But the process of urbanization in the last 75 years. He deprived the Jammuites of these gifts which their Dogra rulers had given as a legacy. Most of these well-forested areas have been cleared for human settlement. For example, Roulki Rakh fell to rehabilitate refugees from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Ploura, Janipur, Keran and adjoining private areas full of trees are being moved to Janipur, Roop Nagar, Pamposh etc. to accommodate the excess population. was brought under a number of colonies. Spread over a large area, Bahu Rakh, Railway Complex and Sainik Colony, Gorkha Nagar, Trikuta Nagar, Gandhi Nagar were brutally deforested and encroached upon to create a number of colonies. The new settlement of Sidhra on the left bank of the Tavi River occupied most of the deforested Bahu Rakh. This deforestation around the city of Jammu has increased the level of health hazards and reduced the quality of life. Now we are suffering in highly polluted, congested and almost treeless city and vehicular pollution.
iii) In Jammu city, where the number of vehicles has witnessed a phenomenal growth, vehicular pollution has recently taken on a massive scale. According to some environmentalists, about 60 percent of the air pollution in Jammu city is due to vehicular emissions. Exhaust gases are the main air pollutants present in automobile emissions in our daily life. Exhaust gases contain incomplete combustion products, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and unburned carbon. In addition to these components, nitrogen and sulfur dioxide oxides are also present. All these exhaust gases play a major role in polluting clean and fresh air. The adverse effects caused by all these sources of pollution discussed above are meteorological, physiological and economic in nature. Physiologically, our respiratory system is most affected by silicosis, which affects the lungs due to the deposition of small dirt particles. These particles, which are inhaled during breathing, are also called Doctors have found that cancer is mostly caused by smoke from vehicles, industries and tobacco products. In addition, the growth of body tissues is affected and resistance to bacterial germs and diseases is reduced. Smoke and dust, which are hygroscopic in nature, attract water. & condense vapor even from a dry atmosphere well below saturation pressure to form mist and fog. Fog obstructs visibility. Sometimes the visibility becomes very bad and causes serious accidents.
iv) Noise pollution: Any sound that reaches the ears and does not serve any useful or good purpose is noise. These days, people are becoming more and more aware of the disturbing factor and physiological as well as psychological damage caused by noise. Noise can be measured using several sophisticated systems, but the most common unit for measuring noise is the decibel (dB). Our hearing would be fine if we were not exposed to a sound intensity of 55 dB. It should be noted that piles of dirt and pieces of plastic are being burnt in many places in Jammu these days. This requires a complete cessation of the practice. Because during the burning of plastic material, “Dioxene gas” is formed along with the other gases mentioned above, which are very dangerous for both humans and other animals.
(Author is former Assistant Dean SKAUST-Jammu).