Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has issued a stern warning to those violating the government direction and polluting the environment by burning stubble and other wastes. The directives were issued here on late Friday night after the Chief Minister held an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation.
Hauling up the district magistrates and divisional commissioners for having failed to prevent burning of crop residue and waste in their respective districts, Mr Adityanath said burning of waste in the open should be completely banned and strict action be taken against violators. He said builders carrying out construction work should strictly follow rules to prevent air pollution.
The Chief Minister, through video-conferencing, spoke to DMs of Baghpat, Hapur, Meerut, Lucknow, Kanpur, Bulandshahr and Varanasi, and cities close to the National Capital, and reviewed action taken by them to check the menace. He asked agriculture department officials to hold awareness programmes for farmers and educate them on the ill-effects of stubble burning and added that the department should consider the possibility of converting crop residue to compost.
Till the time pollution level is brought under control, the urban development department has been asked to go slow on road construction projects and ensure that dust and emissions from bitumen are completely stopped. The CM asked district magistrates and divisional commissioners to monitor air pollution levels in their districts and review burning of waste and stubble on a daily basis. He asked municipal corporations to step up sprinkling of water in urban areas to control dust pollution.
On the other hand, Air Quality Index (AQI) was at its peak in Noida and Ghaziabad with people wearing mask to beat the pollution level. In Noida, on Saturday morning the AQI was at a dangerous level of 451 while in Indirapuram area of Ghaziabad it was recorded 449. In Kanpur, the AQI was 359 on Saturday morning while in Varanasi it was 215 and in Agra 193.
Meanwhile, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Lucknow touched 324 (severe) on Saturday but it had decreased from Friday which recorded 382 and the most polluted day post-monsoon so far, but also saw the worst air quality on November 1 in three years. In 2017 and 2018, AQI on November 1 was 301 and 302 respectively.
According to live monitoring by CPCB on Friday evening, PM2.5 concentration in Lucknow peaked to 379 microgram per cubic metre of air in Lalbagh, making it the most polluted locality of the city. It was followed by Talkatora and Aliganj with PM2.5 concentration recorded 352 and 277.
Lucknow District administration has directed various civic agencies to take measures to check air pollution, but barring few measures, no significant effort is visible on the streets. Though sprinkling of water was done at few places and green nets were put up at some construction sites to check dust particles from polluting the atmosphere. (UNI)