TWO DAYS after the Punjab government wrote to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) advocating that the state does not need to ban firecrackers in its non-attainment cities, it has decided to ban crackers in cities that had “poor” AQI last year.
The move came after the NGT on Monday ordered a total ban against the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) from midnight of November 9-10 to the midnight of November 30-December 1.
Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan told The Indian Express that the government will comply with the NGT orders, and “the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) is preparing a list of the cities which had poor AQI last year”. She added that the state government had already written to the tribunal stating that it did not feel the need to ban crackers, but if the latter had given a direction, the government would comply with it.
“We are checking where all we will need to ban crackers. We have monitoring systems only in a few cities. The chief secretary will take a call. The ban orders are likely to be out tomorrow,” said an official of PPCB on Monday.
The state government had on Saturday written to NGT that the AQI in non-attainment cities had remained in ‘good’ to ‘satisfactory’ range in the state.
The government had said that the matter had been considered by the state and the AQI in non-attainment cities of Amritsar, Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh, Patiala, Jalandhar and Khanna, where Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) have been installed, had remained in the ‘moderate’ range for the months of January and February, in the ‘satisfactory’ range from March to July, in the ‘good’ range for August, in the ‘satisfactory’ range for September, and ‘moderate’ in October…Read more>>