Chandigarh: Punjab on Sunday (November 5) reported 3,230 farm fires, the highest in a day so far this season, while the air quality in large parts of Haryana was recorded in ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ categories. With the 3,230 fresh farm fires, the total number of stubble burning incidents in Punjab so far this season stands at 17,403, according to Punjab Remote Sensing Centre data. Farm fires reported in November constitute 56 per cent of the total stubble burning incidents this season, the data showed.
However, the number of stubble burning incidents registered from September 15 to November 5 this year is 41 per cent less than 29,400 recorded during the corresponding period last year.
Punjab reported 28,792 farm fires during the same period in 2021.
Out of the 3,230 stubble burning incidents reported on Sunday, Sangrur reported the maximum at 551. This was followed by 299 in Ferozepur, 293 in Mansa, 247 in Bathinda, 189 in Barnala, 179 in Moga, 177 in Tarn Taran and 169 in Patiala.
The state recorded 5,327 and 2,817 farm fires on November 5 in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
Of the total 17,403 farm fires recorded this season, Sangrur tops the list with 2,698, followed by 1,830 in Ferozepur, 1,762 in Taran Tarn, 1,432 in Amritsar, 1,261 in Patiala and 1,256 in Mansa, the data showed.
Punjab recorded 49,922 stubble burning incidents in 2022, 71,304 in 2021, 76,590 in 2020, 55,210 in 2019 and 50,590 in 2018, it stated.
In Punjab, Bathinda recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 375, Mandi Gobindgarh 291, Khanna 255, Patiala 248 and Ludhiana 243, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
In Haryana, several places recorded air quality in ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ categories.
Faridabad recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 450, followed by Fatehabad 442, Kaithal 434, Hisar 427, Gurugram 402, Jind 401, Sirsa 390, Rohtak 362, Panipat 346, Kurukshetra 330 and Karnal 319, according to CPCB data.
Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, recorded an AQI of 212.
Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is considered one of the major reasons behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in the two states and neighbouring areas, including Delhi, in October and November.
As the window for sowing wheat, a key rabi crop, is very short after paddy harvest, some farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue.
With about 31 lakh hectares of paddy area, Punjab produces around 180-200 lakh tonnes of paddy straw every year. Of this, 120 lakh tonnes was being managed through in-situ (mixing crop residue in fields) and around 30 lakh tonnes through ex-situ (using stubble as fuel) methods.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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