NoidaIn the wake of increasing air pollution, the Gautam Budh Nagar administration urged restaurants and dhabas to avoid using ‘tandoors’ to cook food.Tandoor is a cylindrical earthen oven used to prepare Indian bread (rotis) and to slow roast food. It is an Indian version of the barbecue and works on coal.However, there is no such diktat for the eateries to stop using coal to cook food as it does not amount to the flouting of regulations.For the last one month, the air quality index of Noida has been deteriorating due to several reasons. On Wednesday, the AQI of Noida was recorded at 303, in the ‘very poor’ category. On Tuesday, the AQI was 411, in the ‘severe’ category. Millions of residents in Delhi-NCR have been affected by the toxic air quality and complained of burning sensation in their eyes, restlessness and nausea.District magistrate BN Singh has asked the food and supplies department to request restaurants to use alternative methods to cook food.“We visited 35-40 dhabas and restaurants on Tuesday and Wednesday in Noida, Dadri, Jewar and Dankaur and asked the owners to avoid using coal. Since they are not flouting any laws, we cannot enforce this. Considering the air quality, we are only requesting the owners for now,” RN Yadav, food and supplies officer, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.“Tandoori rotis and tandoori chicken can also be cooked on tandoors that work on gas. The shopkeepers we have met have promised to use alternate methods,” Yadav said.Chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Anurag Bhargav also urged people to stop using coal and firewood. “Cart vendors who roast peanuts and those who use tandoors in restaurants are requested to find alternative methods. People should avoid using ‘angeethi’ (firewood) to avoid air pollution,” said Dr Bhargav.However, dhaba owners gave a mixed response.“When we use tandoori, we can cook a total of 20 rotis in one slot and this saves us a lot of time. Moreover, people can find out the difference between chicken roasted on coal fire and gas. Pollution is caused by factories and they should be acted against,” Avdhesh Kumar, a dhaba owner in Mamura, said.“We understand the gravity of the situation in Noida when it comes to air pollution and we will switch to gas to cook rotis,” Pradip Mishra, a worker at dhaba at Nithari market, said.