Stubble burning blamed for the rise in air pollution

stubble burning
Representative Image

NEW DELHI: The air quality in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana dropped down due to stubble burning. Every year from last week of October till mid-November, farmers set on fire the leftover crop materials and loose straw that produces hazardous smoke causing immense damage to the environment.

The central and the state governments are trying to implement number of measures to prevent stubble burning. Over the past two years governments have considered slapping fines and subsidizing the necessary equipment that allow seeds of the next wheat crop to be planted with the stubble still on the fields.

In 2017 a group of research scientists with the help of NASA satellite image demonstrated a shocking reality of Central India, parts of north and north-east India and even countries in Southeast Asia which were densely dotted red in the image. Each red mark was a sign of biomass burning.

The state government had slapped fines ranging from Rs 5,000 and Rs 15,000 in 3,300 cases of farmers in Haryana and 43,814 cases in Punjab who were found burning biomass last year. This season, Haryana has lodged 40 cases and fines were imposed while Punjab has issued fines in 399 cases.

As per the agricultural ministry, the level of carbon dioxide has increased in the air by 70 per cent due to stubble burning. The concentration of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide also increased by 7 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively.

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