Srinagar: Peoples’ Environmental Council (PEC), a Srinagar based group of subject matter specialists and concerned citizens, in collaboration with the University of Kashmir organized a webinar on “Air Quality in Kashmir: Status, Source, and Implications”.
Prof. Talat Ahmad Vice-Chancellor University of Kashmir was the Chief Guest of the Webinar. Prof. Talat Ahmad in his opening remarks deliberated on the deteriorating air quality of the Kashmir valley during the last few decades. He said that in addition to the anthropogenic sources of the pollution in the Kashmir valley, the geomorphic set up of the valley complicates the pollution situation by entrapping the pollutants in the valley due to the low temperatures during winter. Prof. Talat Ahmad emphasized the need for an integrated approach involving experts across the relevant disciplines to scientifically address the issues. Vice-Chancellor in his address appreciated the role of PEC for organizing a webinar on this important subject of Air pollution and offered continuous support to PEC for similar activities. The webinar was chaired by the Chairman PEC G H Kango IFS Retd. and Co-chaired by Prof. A R Yousuf Chair Webinar-Organizing Committee of PEC. Qazi Shugufta Member PEC former Director Finance and Audit J&K Govt. was the rapporteur of the webinar. The webinar was hosted by Dr. Arshid Jahangir Sr. Assistant Professor University of Kashmir and moderated by Sakib Qadri Convenor PEC. Tanveer Jahan Spokesperson PEC gave the vote of thanks at the end. The webinar featured five technical presentations:
• “Seasonality and Sources of Particulate Pollution in Kashmir” by Prof. Shakil Romshoo, Dean Research, University of Kashmir.
• “Hazardous Effects of Air Pollution on Health of People” by Dr. Parvaiz Koul, Professor and Head, Pulmonary and Internal Medicine, Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences.
• “Air Pollution in Kashmir – Perspective and Challenges before Pollution Control Board” by Mr. Rafi Ahmad Bhat Regional Director, Kashmir, J&K State Pollution Control Board, and
• “Air Quality and Air Pollution – Health Impact Assessment Modelling in Srinagar” by Mr. Tavoos Hasan Bhat Sr. health and Safety Officer, Sheikh Shakbout Medical City, Abu Dhabi.
Hundreds of people from different parts of the world participated in the webinar. Post technical sessions a Q&A / interactive session between the participants, presenters, and organizers took place. The webinar continued for two and half hours including the interactive Q&A session involving all the participants. The recommendations of the webinar shall be submitted to the authorities shortly.