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Business News/ News / India/  Stubble burning contribution to Delhi's pollution increases to 10 per cent on Diwali

To worsen the air pollution in Delhi after Diwali, contribution of stubble burning in Delhi's pollution increased to around 10 per cent, the highest this year so far, stated the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

However, stubble burning's contribution was still lesser than what it was in past years. In 2021, stubble burning's contribution was 25 per cent, its was 32 per cent in 2020, and 19 per cent in 2019, according to SAFAR, a forecasting agency under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Due to weak transport-level winds, the share of stubble burning in the national capital's rising air pollution remained up to five per cent until Sunday. Weak transport-waves were unable to carry smoke from farm fires to Delhi.

There was a favourable situation that limited the impact of stubble burning in the air pollution of Delhi. Long duration of rainfall in October led tot the delay in paddy harvesting and ultimately stubble burning.

"The share of PM2.5 in Delhi's air has increased which is indicative of contribution from firecrackers and stubble burning," said Gufran Beig, Chair Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science.

"Though the active fire counts have doubled, the wind direction is north westerly and the wind speed is moderate (not very favorable for the transport of stubble smoke). Hence, the contribution of stubble burning is not significant," he said.

Gufran Beig also informed that the air quality in Delhi may reduce sharply to the ‘severe’ zone in the wee hours of Tuesday. However, the situation may improve in the day time due to improved wind speed and warmer conditions during the day will help disperse pollutants.

"Therefore, the air quality is likely to retreat to the 'very poor' category on Tuesday itself," he said.

This time, stubble burning is likely to account for 12 to 25 per cent of Delhi's air pollution on Tuesday.

This year, the Indian Agricultural Research Institute reported 1,019 farm fires in Punjab, 250 in Haryana and 215 in UP on Monday evening.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Updated: 24 Oct 2022, 10:12 PM IST
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