Harvest season almost over, stubble burning impact reducing: IMDUpdated: Nov 23, 2019 00:22 IST
After almost two months of shrouds of smoke from Punjab and Haryana affected Delhi’s air quality, crop stubble burning activities are almost over, senior state government officials said on Friday.
On Friday, the wind direction in the national capital was north westerly, which brings pollutants from crop residue burning from the states of Punjab and Haryana. However, the share of stubble burning in the city’s air was just 4%, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the ministry of earth science’s weather and air quality monitoring centre, said.
S Narayanan, member secretary of Haryana Pollution Control Board, said that on Friday, only 12 cases of crop stubble burning were reporting from across the state. He said that apart from a few sporadic incidents expected next week, the stubble burning season can be declared closed.
“There are only some handful villages in Fatehabad and Sirsa where harvesting is still left in a few farmlands. Apart from that, we are not expecting any rise. The incidents are done,” Narayanan said.
He said that this year, from September 25 to November 22, Haryana has managed to restrict the number of farm fires to 6551, as against the 9663 cases reported in 2018, which was an improvement from the previous years.
In Punjab too, officials of the state pollution control board said the harvest season was complete.
“The incidents (of stubble burning) are almost over. Except for a few cases here and there, we have it under control for nearly a week now,” said K.Garg, member secretary Punjab Pollution Control Board.
However, data shows that there are still four districts, which are estimated to contribute to nearly 5-8% of the total stubble burning incidents in Punjab. These districts are Bhatinda, Barnala, Malwa, Sangrur and Mansa. This year, over 49,500 cases of farm fires have been reported from Punjab.
“During the weekend, crop burning cases are likely to pick up a little. But overall, the cases are in control,” a senior official of the agriculture department said.
Scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) also said the effect of farm fires in the Capital’s pollution levels had been negligible over the past two days.
“The season is nearly over. Burning activities spotted over the last two days have been very less and that is because the harvest season is almost over. The wind direction is north westerly, but the speed has improved since afternoon and that the air quality will improve in the coming days,” a senior IMD scientist said.