Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Punjab, asserted on Tuesday that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government had succeeded in maintaining a moderate air quality index (AQI) in Punjab even during the Diwali festival on November 12. The AQI recorded from 7 am to 6 am on November 13 was 207, classified as moderate and significantly better than the previous year.
Addressing reporters, AAP spokesperson Jagtar Singh Sanghera stated that this year's AQI was 22.8% better than in 2022 and 7.6% better than the 2021 Diwali. He cited data collected from air quality monitoring stations in six cities: Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Khanna, Mandi Gobindgarh, and Patiala.
It is noteworthy that, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) standards, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good,' 51 and 100 'satisfactory,' 101 and 200 'moderate,' 201 and 300 'poor,' 301 and 400 'very poor,' 401 and 500 'severe.'
The AQI recorded from 7 am on Diwali day to 6 am the next day was 268 in 2021, while last year's AQI was 224; this year, it improved to 207.
Sanghera: Stubble burning down by 70% in Punjab
Sanghera mentioned that instances of stubble burning were also down by 70% in Punjab, a significant factor contributing to better air quality. Approximately 1.40 lakh machines had been distributed for paddy stubble management. Cooperative societies and NGOs receive an 80% subsidy on these machines, while individuals get a 50% subsidy. The initiative encourages more organizations and societies to purchase these machines, he added, highlighting efforts to inform farmers about environmentally friendly practices, including refraining from stubble burning. Additionally, Sanghera noted that stubble is being utilized to produce biofuel, providing farmers with additional income sources.