Punjab’s Air Quality Index stood at 220 on Friday which makes the air severe for locals to breathe. This is not first time that cities of Punjab are witnessing deteriorating AQI this year. It has almost been a month now that a thick blanket of smog has covered state of Punjab. The main reason cited by all the reports, data, studies was increasing cases of stubble burning, but is it really the only reason that it has become difficult for people to breathe air of Punjab?

True Scoop while speaking exclusively to Punjab Pollution Control Board Member Secretary Mr. Krunesh Garg learned about many factors that immensely contribute to deteriorating AQI but are hidden behind farm fire cases. While explaining he said that burning of garbage heaps by locals is also one of main reasons in poor AQI. Along with this road construction, mismanagement of solid waste, vehicular traffic and changing weather conditions are also some reasons.

Talking about burning garbage heaps, he stated that as Municipal Corporation is not regularly collecting waste, locals are forced to burn them and smoke emitted from it has become a major reason for smog. He further added that stubble burning is just one aspect and no blame can be totally put on farmers as cases of farm fires reported this year were less than previous ones.

Punjab Pollution Control Board has imposed 180 crores of fine on Punjab and National Green Tribunal has also put up a fine of 2,000 crores due to untreated management of waste. Jalandhar has also been given notices to take action regarding waste management but in vain while Ludhiana has proposed 5 lakh tonnes of solid waste to be treated.

As per Krunesh Garg, “the corporation neither stopped the garbage burning nor improved the condition of the roads which plays a major role in deteriorating AQI. MC Jalandhar was served with notice regarding same but no action has been taken till now.”

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