Ludhiana, June 23
Concerned citizens from across Punjab along with a panel of well-known experts came together here on Wednesday for a virtual discussion on ‘Air quality management in Punjab’, as part of the Clean Air Punjab network in collaboration with EcoSikh.
In the session a detailed discussion on the rising air pollution as well as the steps that need to be taken up by authorities as well as the community to manage the deteriorating air quality was held.
A series of campaigns have been initiated by the Clean Air Punjab, which is a citizens’ initiative, along with EcoSikh to promote awareness among people as well as sensitisation of degradation of the environment and the rising air pollution levels in Punjab.
The panellists for the workshop included Dr Prabhjyot Kaur Sidhu, Principal Scientist and Head, Department of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana; Kahan Singh Pannu, former IAS officer and Adviser, NHAI, Punjab; Raj Ratra, Senior Environment Engineer, Punjab Pollution Control Board; Sarath Guttikunda, founder Director, Urban Emissions; Tanushree Ganguly, Programme Lead, Risks and Adaptation, Air Quality, Council on Energy Environment and Water (CEEW); Gunjan Jain, Communication Strategist, Climate Trends; and Jaskirat Singh, founder and CEO, Webrosoft. The session was attended by over 100 participants from Punjab and other neighbouring states.
Tanushree Ganguly informed that Punjab is home to nine non-attainment cities, of which only six non-attainment cities —Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh, Patiala, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Khanna —possess real-time monitoring infrastructure.
“Data reported by these stations suggest that PM10 concentrations in all six cities were greater than the permissible limit on more than 50 per cent of days in the first half of 2021,” she explained.
“Stubble-burning was not the only polluting source across the Indo-Gangetic plains every winter, but it has captured the imagination and attention of popular debate as to the culprit for Delhi’s grey winter skies,” shared Gunjan Jain. KS Pannu said, “Action needs to be taken against the owners of smoke-spewing factories, especially thermal, paper, cement and chemical plants, besides brick kilns, which often deliberately turn off the pollution control devices to save cost. — TNS
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