STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: The Air Quality of Jammu city remained ‘moderate’ on this year’s Diwali as assessed on the basis of Ambient Air Quality Monitoring results for RSPM PM10, PM2.5 SO2 and NO2 at NAMP at the Monitoring locations on November 14th (Diwali day) by the J&K Pollution Control Board (JKPCB).According to Chairman J&K PCB, Suresh Chugh, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Jammu city on this Diwali eve was 186 and the mean level of particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5 were 229µg/m3 and 58.8µg/m3, respectively.The AQI prior to this Diwali was recorded to be 172 and has seen an increase of 8.13% on Diwali day as against an increase of 3.17% recorded last year (2019).It is pertinent to mention that National Green Tribunal (NGT) vide its order dated 9th of November had banned the sale and use of fire crackers in cities with ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ Air Quality like NCR Delhi and allowed only the use of ‘Green Crackers’ in areas and cities with ‘moderate’ or ‘satisfactory’ Air Quality.Accordingly, Govt. of J&K vide order dated 10/11/2020 banned the sale and use of fire crackers in UT of J&K under the Disaster Management Act, and only allowed sale and burning of ‘Green Crackers’ on specific timing i.e from 8PM to 10 PM on Diwali day.The Deputy Commissioners and the Superintendent of Police of concerned districts were directed to ensure the enforcement of ban on fire crackers and ensure the sale and use of green crackers only.Teams comprising of officials of Revenue, Police and PCB inspected the various sites where stalls for sale of fire crackers were installed.The team made the Public/customers aware and gave demonstration about the identification of Green Crackers, which was appreciated by the public and many customers voluntarily returned their non-green crackers. The teams witnessed stocks comprising approx. 60% Green Crackers and 40% non-green crackers.As per the Chairman, J&K PCB, the possible reasons for relative degradation in Air Quality on this year’s Diwali as compared to last year, despite the enforcement of ban on fire crackers by the Govt, can be attributed to the prolonged dry spell before Diwali which led to larger amount of suspended particulate matter in the Air.However, immediately after Diwali, due to heavy rains in Jammu and other areas the AQI of Jammu came down to 95 which is ‘satisfactory’.
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