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Stubble burning in Punjab & Haryana on the rise, Delhi’s pollution woes set to worsen

Data with the IARI suggests that at least 620 cases of stubble burning have been reported in Punjab while Haryana also contributes to a modest 74 cases.

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New Delhi: Winters are yet to arrive but the air quality in national capital has already plunged into poor category. And, going by the available data of stubble burning in adjoining Punjab & Haryana, the pollution woes are set to worsen in coming days.

Paddy residue burning events have picked up pace since October 1, says Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s (IARI) Consortium for Research on Agroecosystem Monitoring and Modelling from Space.

The stubble burning events in Punjab started towards the fag end of September, with no incident of farm fire reported till Sept 29. However, by October 1, there were 45 cases of farm fire which increased to 83 in just 1 day. On October 5, at least 130 spots were located where paddy residues were being burnt in the farm fields.

Data with the IARI suggests that at least 620 cases of stubble burning have been reported in Punjab while Haryana also contributes to a modest 74 cases. Reports suggest that Amritsar and Taran Taran districts of Punjab have witnesses highest cases of farm fires.

The rising number of farm fires puts the national capital as well as the ruling dispensation in a fix. Delhi is already reeling under poor air category and rising cases of stubble burning are set to have a worsening effect on the air quality index (AQI).

Meanwhile, Delhi government for fourth year in a row has imposed ban on firecrackers to save the capital & its residents from worsening air quality. Vehicles without Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate will also be under watch in the capital and those violating it will have their registration certificate suspended.

However, how much impact all this will have on maintaining ‘clean air’ in Delhi is yet to be seen as year after year, stubble burning has turned out to be a menace, choking the city residents.

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