- Stubble burning in Punjab continues and poses threat to Delhi’s air
- Good wind speed and drop in temperature has improved Delhi’s air
- Delhi to receive north-westerly winds in coming days, air quality may fall
New Delhi: The air quality in Delhi and the National Capital Region witnessed a slight improvement on November 18 because of the little rain. But the improvement in the air quality didn’t last longer and the air quality soon shifted from ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’. The national capital is likely to inhale toxins for a few more days. With good wind speed and a drop in temperature, air quality in Delhi at different times on November 19 was recorded between poor and very poor. A similar situation was seen on November 20. According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Air Quality index (AQI) on November 20 at 5PM in Delhi was a very poor 316 compared to 292 (poor) on November 19.
Despite the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ban unabated stubble burning in the western Punjab districts continues to pose a threat to Delhi’s air. Satellite images from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on November 19 showed increased stubble-burning in Punjab’s Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Firozpur, Fazilka, Muktsar, Bathinda, Moga and Kapurthala districts in the past two days.
Farmers in these districts are burning stubble now since crop residue could not be burnt earlier on due to moisture, and due to the fact that it’s almost time to prepare the fields for the winter crops, Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Punjab unit member Omkar Singh said.
According to experts, increase in stubble burning might be the reason behind deterioration in Delhi’s air quality and rise in levels of pollution.
There is a possibility of stubble burning being the reason of the hike in pollution levels in the region, A. Sudhakar, Member Secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) told IANS.
Keeping in view the health emergency declared this year and the current levels of pollution; CPCB is now focusing on the long-term measures to not have a similar situation again in 2018. For this the CPCB has directed India Meteorological Department (IMD) to update their system and develop an early warning system for issuing advance warnings of air pollution.
IMD is supposed to develop the early warning system to warn of the smog situation here or the possibility of a dust storm reaching Delhi through Afghanistan. The system at IMD are not accurate as earlier they predicted that dust won’t reach Delhi but it did. At least with early warning we will have time to prepare, Mr Sudhakar said.
According to CPCB, the average AQI of Delhi as monitored by 17 stations 326 points at 4PM with PM 2.5 being the major pollutant.
Air quality of Delhi-NCR is likely to remain in the “very poor” category for at least next three days because of the winds from Punjab and Haryana.