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Punjab, Haryana officers say early harvest, scarcity of labour power resulting from COVID-19 led to extra farm fires this 12 months – India News , Firstpost

According to the Punjab Pollution Control Board, the state has recorded 4,585 farm fires this season to this point, in comparison with 1,631 throughout the corresponding interval final 12 months

New Delhi: Punjab and Haryana have recorded extra incidents of stubble burning this season to this point, in comparison with final 12 months and it’s largely resulting from early harvesting of paddy and unavailability of farm labour as a result of coronavirus pandemic, officers mentioned on Saturday.

According to the Punjab Pollution Control Board, the state has recorded 4,585 farm fires this season to this point in comparison with 1,631 such incidents throughout the corresponding interval final 12 months.

Haryana has additionally recorded a rise in farm fires — from round 1,200 incidents until 16 October final 12 months to 2,016 this 12 months.

Karunesh Garg, Member Secretary of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, nonetheless, mentioned the variety of stubble burning incidents appear giant due to early harvesting of paddy this 12 months.

“Around 17 lakh metric tonnes of paddy was harvested till 15 October last year. This year, the figure is around 40 lakh metric tonnes. It shows that farmers harvested their crop early this year,” he mentioned.

The monsoon season continued till September-end final 12 months, delaying harvesting of paddy, Garg mentioned.

Earlier this week, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had requested Punjab to regulate stubble burning after air high quality within the nationwide capital hit “very poor” ranges. Garg mentioned it was improper guilty Punjab for Delhi’s unhealthy air.

“Stubble burning in Punjab may bea factor but its contribution to Delhi’s pollution is less than one per cent,” he asserted.

An official from the Haryana authorities mentioned the variety of farm fires within the state has “certainly increased” as in comparison with final 12 months. “It can be attributed to the unavailability of farm labour due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

S Narayanan, member secretary of the Haryana Pollution Control Board, mentioned, “The variety of farm fires, to this point, is greater than final 12 months… Maybe it is because of early harvesting. So, it’s too early to foretell whether or not we are going to find yourself burning extra stubble than final 12 months.

“Most farm fires occur in Sirsa, Fatehabad and Kaithal. The administration has not been able to completely control stubble burning in those areas. Efforts are on.”

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the contribution of farm fires to Delhi’s PM2.5 focus rose from round 6 p.c on Thursday to 18 p.c on Friday.

On Saturday, it’s estimated to be round 19 p.c, SAFAR mentioned. It was solely round one per cent on Wednesday and round three p.c on Tuesday, Monday and Sunday.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had Friday mentioned meteorological circumstances in Delhi have been “extremely unfavourable” for dispersion of pollution since this September as in comparison with final 12 months.

With much less space below non-basmati paddy cultivation this time, CPCB Member Secretary Prashant Gargava hoped the variety of stubble burning incidents might be fewer this 12 months in comparison with 2019.

Non-basmati paddy straw is taken into account ineffective as fodder due to its excessive silica content material and so farmers burn it.

Gargava additionally mentioned stubble burning peak won’t coincide with the height of hostile meteorological circumstances this 12 months resulting from early harvesting of paddy.

With Delhi-NCR bracing for months of poor air high quality, specialists have warned that prime ranges of air air pollution can irritate the COVID-19 scenario.

Severe air air pollution in Delhi is a year-round downside, which could be attributed to unfavourable meteorological circumstances, farm fires in neighbouring areas and native sources of air pollution.

According to an evaluation by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, a Delhi-based assume tank, transportation contributes probably the most —18 to 39 p.c — to Delhi’s air air pollution.

Road mud is the second-largest supply of air air pollution within the metropolis (18 to 38 p.c), adopted by industries (2 to 29 p.c), thermal energy crops (three to 11 p.c) and development (eight p.c).

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