Punjab’s Air Quality Index “Moderate” Despite 24,000 Farm Fires!!

The rise in pollution in Delhi is one of the most burning issues today. Moreover, the stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana are considered as one of its major causes. However, despite more than 24,000 farm fires in Punjab, the AQI (Air Quality Index) in the state, surprisingly, remains “moderate”.

Even while the national capital Delhi witnessed a “severe” pollution today and various limitations have been imposed under the final stage of the Graded Response Action Plan, the average air quality in Punjab, where over 24,000 farm fires were reported this season, remains “moderate” in October (GRAP-IV).

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Notably, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (safar), on Thursday i.e 3rd of October, the farm fires in Delhi’s PM2.5 increased to 38%. Furthermore, this is the highest percentage of farm fires contributing to Delhi’s pollution this season. 

Reportedly, Punjab witnessed 24,146 incidences of stubble burning from September 15 to November 3 of this year as opposed to 20,433 cases during the same time period during the previous year. Despite the AQI (Air Quality Index) of Punjab remaining “moderate”, the rise in the stubble burning cases is a matter of concern now, as the AQI in Delhi has been continuously worsening.

Additionally, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) instructed the authorities to stop the operation of diesel light motor vehicles (LMVs) in Delhi and the surrounding NCR districts due to Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) of 450, falling just short of the “severe plus” category. No other category trucks except electric and CNG are allowed to enter the national capital now. 

However, the rise in pollution in Delhi and the increasing cases of stubble burning in Punjab, has led to a never ending war of words between the Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP. Moreover, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav stated that the Punjab government has failed to control the stubble burning due to which Delhi is suffering. 

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