A man out walking his dog at Sector-11, Gurugram, on November 17.(Parveen Kumar/HT photo)
A man out walking his dog at Sector-11, Gurugram, on November 17.(Parveen Kumar/HT photo)

Stubble fires come down; NW India breathes easy for now

Compared to the past three years, air quality is considerably better this year in many north-western towns from November 13 to 17, shows data from Central Pollution Control Board’s air quality index bulletins
By Jayashree Nandi | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 18, 2020 08:25 AM IST

Most parts of northwest India experienced blue skies and “satisfactory” and “moderate” air quality after a spell of “severe” air quality last week following widespread rains and snowfall in the hills and north-western plains on Sunday.

Stubble fires in Punjab have also stopped with the Kharif harvest season coming to an end. This year, paddy yield in Punjab is likely to be 22% higher than last year, according to Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Compared to the past three years, air quality is considerably better this year in many north-western towns from November 13 to 17, shows data from Central Pollution Control Board’s air quality index bulletins. On Wednesday morning also, the air quality index in northwestern towns and cities like Amritsar, Baghpat, Bahadurgarh, Bathinda, Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Karnal etc was in “moderate” and “satisfactory” category.

Even though Diwali this year was celebrated on November 14, a combination of favourable meteorology and tapering off of crop stubble fires in Punjab and Haryana has led to air pollution levels dropping significantly from November 15 onwards. The accumulation of pollutants from stubble fires and Diwali firecrackers has dispersed, scientists said.

Also read | Focus on local emissions to avoid return of bad air

“Unlike previous years when stubble fires would coincide and linger after Diwali, this time after Diwali, fires have also reduced and the accumulated pollution has been dispersed due to strong winds and rain after an active Western Disturbance that impacted the Western Himalayan region on November 14. Even though the wind direction changed from easterly to northwesterly on Tuesday, if there are no stubble fires, we do not expect air pollution levels to spike again. Wind speed will continue to be moderate over 10 kmph for the next few days,” said Kuldeep Shrivastava, head, regional weather forecasting centre.

With the switch to northwesterly wind direction, minimum temperature is likely to drop gradually. On Monday, the minimum temperature in Delhi was 16 degree C, 2 degree C above normal and on Tuesday, it came down to 13 degree C , 1 degree C above normal. “We can expect minimum temperature to fall by another 3 degree C to about 10 degrees on Wednesday,” Shrivastava added.

Under the influence of a fresh Western Disturbance, light isolated to scattered rain and snow is very likely over Western Himalayan region from November 18 to 20 once again. Minimum temperatures are likely to fall gradually by 2-4 degree C over northwest India and north Madhya Pradesh during the next 4-5 days according to India Meteorological Department’s Tuesday bulletin.

“What we are seeing now is because of very good wind speed following rain and snowfall in many parts of northwest India. The ventilation index in Delhi on Tuesday is over 10,000 m2. The mixing height is also very good. The pollution accumulated over the past few days has dispersed. The life of PM 2.5 particles (fine, respirable pollution particles) is about 3 days but it is now getting dispersed. Though wind direction has changed to north-westerly pollution levels have not increased. This is also because emissions from stubble fires have nearly stopped now,” said Vijay Soni, scientist at IMD’s air quality division.

The ventilation index is a function of the mixing height (the height at which pollutants mix in the air) and the wind speed and defines the ability of the atmosphere to disperse contaminants. A ventilation index below 2,350 sq metres/second is considered poor.

Farmers in Punjab and the ICAR confirmed that harvesting for the Kharif season is nearly complete. “Air pollution levels have dropped in Punjab also. Fires have reduced because harvest is over. We had a very good crop this year. Whatever fires were left have been dampened after rain. We don’t expect more fires now,” said Harinder Singh Lakhowal, Bharatiya Kisan Union general secretary, Punjab.

“The arrival of paddy is 209.56 lakh tonnes up to November 17, around 22.8% higher than last year’s 170.64 lakh tonnes. Last year, the total arrival was around 188.9 lakh tonnes during whole season,” said Trilochan Mohapatra, director general, ICAR.

“This reduction in air pollution has been possible partly because fire counts have reduced to almost zero and meteorological factors have been favourable. Now that we have a Commission for air quality management in NCR and adjoining areas, I am hoping there will be strict compliance of emissions from the industrial sector, from power plants and brick kilns. Personally, I hope to see a reduction in air pollution levels compared to 2018 and 2019,” said Sagnik Dey, associate professor at IIT Delhi.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Topics
app
Close
The tourism department has selected villages in districts like Uttarkashi, Bageshwar, Pithoragarh and Chamoli of Uttarakhand to create trekking clusters. (HT PHOTO).
The tourism department has selected villages in districts like Uttarkashi, Bageshwar, Pithoragarh and Chamoli of Uttarakhand to create trekking clusters. (HT PHOTO).

Uttarakhand tourism dept selects 29 hill villages to promote trekking clusters

PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 02:01 AM IST
  • Under the Trekking Traction Homestay Scheme, villages near important and popular trekking routes are being developed by the tourism department as trekking clusters.
Close
1000 unidentified people including Congress workers have been booked for allegedly rioting and using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty during a rally in Bhopal. (Getty Images)
1000 unidentified people including Congress workers have been booked for allegedly rioting and using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty during a rally in Bhopal. (Getty Images)

1000 held for rioting at Bhopal rally against farm laws

UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 01:21 AM IST
  • Congress leaders accused the police of using force to create a nuisance during a peaceful protest of farmers and Congress workers.
Close
Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat during the foundation laying ceremony of Sainya Dham in Dehradun on Saturday.(HT PHOTO).
Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat during the foundation laying ceremony of Sainya Dham in Dehradun on Saturday.(HT PHOTO).

Uttarakhand to give 15 lakh to kin of martyrs, says CM Trivendra Singh Rawat

PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 01:05 AM IST
  • Taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling Uttarakhand the Sainya Dham - fifth dham after the traditional Char Dhams -- Rawat in 2019 had announced that the state government will set up a Sainya Dham in Dehradun.
Close
Both Karna and Sripati were rushed to Bhima Bhoi Medical College & Hospital for treatment where Sripati Besra later succumbed to his injuries. (HT FILE PHOTO).
Both Karna and Sripati were rushed to Bhima Bhoi Medical College & Hospital for treatment where Sripati Besra later succumbed to his injuries. (HT FILE PHOTO).

Clashes between rival groups leave 2 dead, several injured in Odisha’s Bolangir

PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 12:16 AM IST
  • A police team has been deployed in the village to ward off any fresh trouble. The police have also initiated an investigation to nab all the accused.
Close
India and France have fielded a number of fighter jets in the exercise which include Rafales of two sides besides Mirages and the Sukhois of the Indian Air Force.(AFP)
India and France have fielded a number of fighter jets in the exercise which include Rafales of two sides besides Mirages and the Sukhois of the Indian Air Force.(AFP)

IAF ready to tackle any challenge from Leh to Kanyakumari, says Rafale pilot

ANI
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 11:53 PM IST
Squadron Leader Sarthak Kumar, who was part of the IAF and the French Air and Space Force's bilateral exercise 'Desert Knight-21' at the Air Force Station Jodhpur being held from January 20 to 24, said that it was a great learning experience.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

4°C fall in temp from Jan 26, cold wave return likely: IMD

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 11:44 PM IST
After a brief respite, the capital is likely to return to cold wave conditions starting on Republic Day when the minimum temperature is likely to drop by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius -- the fallout of weather factors at play in the Himalayas and in the northern plains, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Saturday
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata on Saturday, (PTI PHOTO).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata on Saturday, (PTI PHOTO).

In poll-bound Bengal, politics overshadows Netaji’s birth anniversary

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 11:32 PM IST
  • Some leaders and political experts even described Modi’s visit as an exercise to woo Bengali voters on whom Bose’s ideology has great influence even after 76 years of his mysterious disappearance.
Close
Union Home Minister Amit Shah launches 'Ayushman scheme' for personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), in Guwahati, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (PTI)
Union Home Minister Amit Shah launches 'Ayushman scheme' for personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), in Guwahati, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (PTI)

Amit Shah launches cashless medical scheme for CAPF personnel, families

By Utpal Parashar, Guwahati
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 11:37 PM IST
  • With the scheme, nearly 5 million CAPF personnel and their families can avail cashless medical treatment.
Close
As many as 12 states are already using Covaxin.(AFP)
As many as 12 states are already using Covaxin.(AFP)

'7 more states to start administering Covaxin from next week': Health ministry

Written by Prashasti Singh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 11:12 PM IST
Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and West Bengal will start administering the Covid-19 vaccine.
Close
Lalu Prasad was undergoing treatment at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in the Jharkhand capital for multiple ailments.
Lalu Prasad was undergoing treatment at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in the Jharkhand capital for multiple ailments.

Lalu Prasad admitted to AIIMS-Delhi

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 11:08 PM IST
A team of doctors has been constituted to evaluate and monitor the former Bihar chief minister's condition and he has been admitted under Dr Rakesh Yadav, professor of Cardiology at AIIMS.
Close
Additional secretary in the Union ministry of health and family welfare Manohar Agnani said in the last 24 hours another death following vaccination has been recorded in Gurugram(PTI)
Additional secretary in the Union ministry of health and family welfare Manohar Agnani said in the last 24 hours another death following vaccination has been recorded in Gurugram(PTI)

None of the deaths preceded by inoculation linked to Covid-19 vaccination

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Ayshee Bhaduri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 11:00 PM IST
Additional secretary of the union health ministry Manohar Agnani, said on Saturday that a total of 11 hospitalisations have been recorded following immunizations, taking the percentage of hospitalization against vaccination to 0.0007%.
Close
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik.(HT file)
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik.(HT file)

Odisha govt plans to launch employment scheme for urban poor

By Debabrata Mohanty, Bhubaneswar
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 10:57 PM IST
  • The scheme aims at reduction in livelihood vulnerabilities of the urban poor including migrant labourers and informal workers.
Close
A lawyer has approached the top court to demand that the vacancies of Chairman and three members of the Appellate Tribunal, Prevention of Money Laundering Act (ATPMLA) be filled up urgently. (HT PHOTO).
A lawyer has approached the top court to demand that the vacancies of Chairman and three members of the Appellate Tribunal, Prevention of Money Laundering Act (ATPMLA) be filled up urgently. (HT PHOTO).

Appoint chairman, members for PMLA Appellate Tribunal: Lawyer’s plea in SC

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 10:31 PM IST
  • Presently, over 5,000 cases are pending with the Tribunal of which the bulk of matters arise out of proceedings under PMLA.
Close
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

'People of Tamil Nadu will determine their future, not Nagpur': Rahul Gandhi

By Divya Chandrababu, Chennai
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 10:24 PM IST
  • Gandhi is on a tour of the western belt where he will next visit Erode, Tiruppur, Karur and Dindigul districts to meet farmers, weavers and youngsters.
Close
Union home minister Amit Shah said the vaccines developed by Indian scientists are fully safe.(ANI Photo)
Union home minister Amit Shah said the vaccines developed by Indian scientists are fully safe.(ANI Photo)

'Let's have a duel': Amit Shah slams Covid-19 vaccine critics

PTI, Guwahati
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 10:31 PM IST
"There are some people who are spreading misinformation on the vaccines. Come to another platform and let's have a duel. But why are you creating doubt over people's health and doing politics?" Amit Shah asked.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP