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Delhi air pollution goes up on stubble burning

Stubble Burning Incidents In Farmlands Across Punjab And Haryana Are Rising, Triggering Pollution Alarm In The National Capital

PTI | Updated on: 16 Oct 2016, 11:07:58 AM
Delhi chokes as farm fire rages in Punjab, Delhi

New Delhi:

Paddy stubble burning in farmlands across Punjab and Haryana are going up in smoke, triggering pollution alarm in the national capital, notwithstanding, the Delhi High Court's orders.

In NASA's 'Web Fire Mapper' red dots, that denote fire, have increased exponentially over the states of Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh in the lastfortnight.

Images show that the red dots were concentrated in areas bordering Pakistan and northern Punjab before October 6. But soon after, fire started dotting the region bordering Delhi, flumes from which may engulf the city soon.

Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain said AAP government's will focus on tackling this annual menace before the winter sowing season. "I have already written to the neighbouring state governments in this regard. I will also arrange a meeting with them to ensure that corrective steps are taken and things do not remain limited to mere words and letters," Hussain said.

Also, as per data by monitoring agencies including the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and SAFAR, Delhi's air quality is deteriorating from 'moderate' to 'poor' levels.

"The situation will deteriorate as the pollutants enter Delhi in the next three to four days. But again, that depends on wind direction and speed. The air quality has been fluctuating between poor and moderate levels but it will slowly turn poor with falling temperature," said a senior weather scientist, not wanting to be named.

The recurrence of the annual phenomenon establishes that the warning of authorities, including the Delhi High Court, Delhi government and the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority have fallen ondeaf ears. In fact, stubble-burning seems to have picked despite the Delhi government writing to the neighbouring states and the Union Environment Ministry to take effective steps to prevent burning of agriculture residue on October 4.

On October 6, the High Court bench made it clear that it will hold the Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh responsible if the orders of NGT and the court in this regard were not implemented.

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First Published : 16 Oct 2016, 10:58:00 AM