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Stubble burning cases have come down by 51.35% this season as compared to the corresponding period last year, said the Centre's Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in a report. 

The panel said enforcement agencies have inspected 8,575 sites in Punjab, Haryana and NCR districts of Uttar Pradesh and an environmental compensation of around 58 lakh has been imposed for crop residue burning.

"Paddy residue burning events in Punjab, Haryana, NCR districts of UP and Rajasthan and Delhi have come down from 43,918 in 2020 to 21,364 in 2021 during the period from 15 September to 2 November," CAQM said in a statement.

It said that between 27 October and 2 November this year, only 12,853 farm fires have been recorded as against 23,628 cases in the corresponding period of 2020 -- a reduction of 10,775 cases (45.6%). 

Delhi air quality

This comes even as the ministry of earth sciences' air quality forecast agency SAFAR on Tuesday predicted that the share of stubble burning in Delhi's PM2.5 pollution is likely to increase to 38% by 6 November.

The contribution of farm fires in Delhi's air pollution has remained low this season so far due to the record-breaking rainfall in October and favourable wind direction.

“However, it is likely to increase up to 38% by 6 November as the wind direction is expected to change to northwesterly after Diwali," said Gufran Beig, the founder project director of SAFAR.

Northwesterly winds carry smoke from farm fires in Punjab and Haryana towards the national capital.

Last year, the share of stubble burning in Delhi's pollution had peaked to 42% on 5 November.

In 2019, crop residue burning accounted for 44% of Delhi's PM2.5 pollution on 1 November.

The air quality in the national capital entered the “very poor" category for the first time this season on Tuesday owing to unfavourable conditions for dispersion of pollutants, authorities said.

Stubble burning accounted for six per cent of the PM2.5 pollution in Delhi on Tuesday. The rest of the pollution is due to local sources, Beig said.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the capital recorded a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 303. It was 281 on Monday, 289 on Sunday and 268 on Saturday.

With input from agencies. 

 

 

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