Pollution impacting everyone's health, people should avoid firecrackers on Diwali: UP minister

Pollution impacting everyone's health, people should avoid firecrackers on Diwali: UP minister

Noida, Nov 7 (PTI) Noting that air pollution impacts the health of everyone, especially children, Uttar Pradesh minister Arun Saxena on Tuesday urged people to not burn firecrackers on Diwali 'as far as possible'.

Saxena, the Minister of State for Environment and Forest (independent charge), said the Yogi Adityanath government is committed to mitigating pollution and is taking all appropriate measures for it.

But Uttar Pradesh is bearing the brunt of stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana in the form of air pollution in the state, he said.

Saxena said provisions of GRAP stage-IV have been implemented in the National Capital Region which includes parts of Uttar Pradesh and accordingly restrictions have been ordered on activities like non-essential construction, and plying of vehicles with high levels of carbon emission, among others.

'The AQI (air quality index) is impacting the health of all people with diseases and increasing the vulnerability of those who do not have diseases. Pollution causes irritation, turns eyes red and also impacts the internal organs with the most severe and irreversible effect on the lungs. Hence it is necessary to take appropriate measures and our government is committed to fighting pollution,” the minister said.

Saxena stressed that there are also some “natural causes” because of which there is pollution like there is no wind flow at this time.

If there is a flow of wind only for two days, the AQI which has crossed the 400-mark would come down below 200. Similarly, if it rains just once, pollution levels will be reduced.

'I believe that we should be careful and not burn firecrackers this Diwali as far as possible. Children should be asked not to burn firecrackers because firecrackers also impact the AQI. This should be our effort,” the minister told reporters.

He said the government is making efforts so that more people use public transport and opt for carpooling whenever possible. Youngsters are being advised to travel on foot instead of motorcycles for short distances. All this will help reduce air pollution, the minister said.

He said the government is making all efforts to tackle air pollution whether it is by restricting older vehicles on roads and banning open burning and construction activities. The minister said the UP government is considering ways to coordinate better with states like Punjab and Haryana to address the issue of recurring pollution every year.

'We have also asked the central government that there should be strict measures to ban stubble burning in Punjab,' Saxena said.

Informed about some non-functional anti-smog guns and towers in Noida besides the issue of dust on several city roads, the minister ordered the departments concerned to look into the matter and resolve it.

On the Delhi government's plan to launch the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme to combat air pollution in the national capital, Saxena said the state government is 'not considering' its implementation in Uttar Pradesh.

However, he said a scientific study on pollution is on the cards.

'We are considering a scientific study for this and we also want this recurring issue of pollution to end so that we can find out the actual cause of pollution and take appropriate action on it. We are planning it,' he said. PTI KIS RHL

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated feed.

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