Diwali cracker guidelines go up in smoke, air quality dips in Punjab
Diwali night witnessed the highest number of farm fires of this season as 1,019 incidents were reported from Punjab. Tarn Taran, Patiala and Gurdaspur districts recorded over 100 farm fires each
Punjab’s air quality dropped to poor as guidelines on bursting firecrackers went up in smoke on Diwali night though the air quality index (AQI) is still better than in previous years. Besides, Diwali witnessed the highest number of over 1,000 farm fires of the season so far.
The Punjab government had allowed only environment-friendly or green firecrackers that cut down pollution by 30% to be burst during the window from 8pm till 10pm on Diwali. But people began bursting firecrackers around 6pm and the festivities continued till midnight as there was no one to check the violations and implement the guidelines.
Diwali night witnessed the highest number of farm fires of the season as 1,019 incidents were reported from Punjab. Tarn Taran, Patiala and Gurdaspur districts recorded more than 100 farm fires each.
The number is set to increase further as harvest is in full swing over the next 10 days.
Farmers usually set the stubble on fire only after crops in neighbouring fields are also harvested.
After Monday night, the total number of farm fires in the state this year has touched 5,617.
On Tuesday morning, the AQI of Amritsar was 261, Ludhiana 262, Jalandhar 234 and Patiala 226.
The AQI in the Union Territory of Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, was recorded at 178.
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, and 401 and 500 severe.