Mandi Gobindgarh AQI better than many towns, residents want cracker ban lifted - ECAS Punjab

Mandi Gobindgarh AQI better than many towns, residents want cracker ban lifted

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Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 11

Mandi Gobindgarh is the only town in the state where selling and bursting of crackers has been completely banned on the pretext of poor air quality.

However, the data released by the government shows the AQI level in Mandi Gobindgarh is better than many big towns in the state.

Opposing the order, locals said the government should rethink and give two-hour window to burst crackers like other towns, so that they may celebrate the festival with enthusiasm.

Vijay Kumar, XEN, Pollution Board, Mandi Gobindgarh, said the NGT had imposed the ban on the basis of poor air quality in November 2019. "The state government has urged the court not to ban crackers as the present AQI level of Mandi Gobindgarh is less than all major towns of the district. But the NGT has directed to impose ban in all those towns where the AQI level was worst in November 2019. At that time, Mandi Gobindgarh fell in that category," he said.

Kumar said as per the data of the last three months, Mandi Gobindgarh has the lowest AQI level of 253.83, whereas Amritsar has 263.8, Jalandhar 253.9, Patiala 286.67 and Ludhiana 264.

District Magistrate Amrit Kaur Gill, in an order issued here today, said as per the directions of the National Green Tribunal under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), and the guidelines issued by the state government, a complete ban on the sale and bursting of crackers has been imposed in Mandi Gobindgarh town of the district till January 1, 2021.

Gill has also cancelled the licences issued for the sale of crackers and those given the licence have been directed to submit the temporary licences issued to them in the office of the Deputy Commissioner.

Amloh SDM Anand Sagar Sharma said the orders of the DM would be implemented strictly. He warned that if anyone violated the orders, the violator would be booked under Section 13 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, and Section 188 of the IPC and would be prosecuted.

from The Tribune

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