Stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana worsens the AQI of Delhi

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NEW DELHI: In spite of the ban and efforts from the government to stop farmers from stubble burning, the practice is happening unhindered, in parts of Punjab and Haryana. Even though rain has brought down the pollution level from poor on May 12 to moderate on May 17, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) a body under Union ministry of earth sciences, said that the city air would get filthier in the next couple of days due to stubble burning practice.  

Data from NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), which uses satellites to map the number of active fires in a region, shows that the instances of fires in Punjab and Haryana have risen in the last week. On May 12, the PM 2.5 level was at the highest (164.46mg/m3) and AQI at 334 (very poor). Farmers who claim that there is no adequate number of machines to process the crop residues on time to sow seeds for the next season are resorting to burning them. Fine particles from the burning crop residues get carried to Delhi and NCR with winds.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Ministry of Agriculture earlier to provide a status report on the curative action to be taken for cutting down air pollution that grades from stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh.

The bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, NGT Chairperson noted that the Ministry had failed to submit with previous orders and ordered that the report should be furnished within two weeks.

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