Punjab has observed the Average Air Quality Index (AQI) reduction of 16.4% from the last year and 31.7% as comparative to 2020.
The Environment Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer while divulging the details stated that due to constant efforts of the Punjab Pollution Control Board and appealed by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, this year's air quality improved as compare to last years on the day of Diwali.
Pointing out further, the Environment Minister said that last year as well as in 2020 no city remained in the moderate category of AQI whereas this year 2 cities (Khanna & Mandi Gobindgarh) remained in the Moderate category of AQI.
Overall all the 6 Cities of Punjab have observed a reduction in the AQI during this year's Diwali (2022) as compared to last year's Diwali days (2020 & 2021), said the Minister adding the Average AQI of Punjab this year Diwali was 224 (Poor) as compared to 268 (Poor) in 2021and 328 (very Poor) in 2020.
The Maximum AQI was recorded at Amritsar this year with AQI Category 262 (Poor). However, in the last year Maximum value of AQI 327 (Very Poor) was observed in Jalandhar & in 2020 Maximum value of AQI 386 (Very Poor) was observed in Amritsar. The minimum AQI for this year was recorded in Mandi Gobindgarh with AQI of 188 (Moderate) against the last year value of 220 (Poor) and also in 2020 with AQI value of 262 (Poor). Last year AQI of the 02 Cities (Amritsar & Jalandhar) remained in Very Poor Category whereas in 2020, 04 cities namely Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana & Patiala remained in Very Poor category. However, no city remained in very poor category of AQI this year. The Maximum AQI reduction in this year was observed in Jalandhar (31.2%) and Minimum was observed in Patiala(7.0%), said the Minister.
Meanwhile, the Chairman PPCB Prof. Adarsh Paul Vig thanked the people of State of Punjab for following the advisory issued with respect to time period fixed for bursting of fire crackers and using the green crackers for celebrations of Diwali festival, resulting in overall improvement in Air Quality as compared to last year and 2020 also.
The Member Secretary PPCB Karunesh Garg said that the Punjab Pollution Control Board has installed Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) in 06 cities of Punjab namely Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Khanna, MandiGobindgarh and Patiala to monitor the ambient air quality on real time basis.