Despite a ban and dire warnings from the Delhi HC, crop fires have started raging across Punjab and northern Haryana, data from NASA satellites reveals. In what could be further bad news for Delhi’s air quality, the data indicates that the fires may have begun early this year, compared with 2015. View more at #Hindustan360.
On October 6, the Delhi high court had warned the chief secretaries of four states (Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan) that they would be held responsible if crop burning persisted in their states this year. The fires may start impacting Delhi’s air quality in the coming days. All of this week, Delhi recorded “poor” air quality according to Central Pollution Control Board’s air quality index bulletin.
About Rs 2.5 crore worth of residue is destroyed and 1,000 tonnes of rich humus. Besides, the soil after being burnt is devoid of moisture and bio-organisms. It then needs more water for the next round of crop sowing.” UP, MP, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are the largest wheat producing states in India.
“The government has already taken up the matter with them. Even the high court had directed these states to ensure there is no burning of paddy straw. Now I am not sure what else can be done,” a senior environment department official said. The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had held a meeting on October 7 with chief secretaries and senior officials of Punjab and Haryana governments on crop stubble burning. Bhure Lal, head of EPCA, made a number of directions to ensure “zero crop stubble burning” this year.
NGT had then rued that as the paddy burning season was already over and damage was done and its order must be strictly implemented in 2016. The Centre had then proposed giving incentives to farmers and making promoting efficient farming practices with subsidies. On Wednesday, the Tribunal was informed that the percentage of carbon monoxide in Delhi’s air has shot up and the particulate matter in Delhi stood at 460 mg per cubic metres.
“Global warming is having its own effect. The month of September has been the hottest month in 136 years. Crop burning is expected to be one of the most serious contributors to pollution and the ecology, besides vehicular emission, dust and burning of other materials,” the bench said.
View more at #Hindustan360.