Air quality division of IMD stated that more than 6,000 fire points were visible which is very high and Air quality in Delhi may fall into a severe category if the wind speed decreases.
New Delhi| Scientists said that more than 3,000 incidents of stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh contributed 40% of the PM2.5 load to Delhi’s air on Saturday. With more than 6,000 points of fire visible from above in satellite thermal imaging on Sunday, the air quality in Delhi-NCR could deteriorate further.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, the northwest winds are bringing pollution particles from the northwestern states towards Delhi, whereas cold breeze from Himalayas is also bringing smoke due to stubble burning.
Farmer leaders said that till the completion of harvesting of kharif crop in Punjab, the stubble burning will continue for at least 10 days. An early warning system under the Ministry of Earth Sciences said that Punjab NCR (3,616), Haryana (162), UP (47) and MP (404) had seen a huge surge in number of fires on Saturday, which is affecting the air quality of Delhi NCR and the entire northwestern region.
Vijay Soni of the air quality division of IMD stated that “Today more than 6,000 fire points are visible which is very high. Air quality in Delhi may fall into a severe category if the wind speed decreases.”
Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary of the Indian Farmers Union, agreed that the number of farm fires was unusually high. “This is for two reasons. One is that the farmers are agitating against the farm bill. They are not in the mood to follow the instructions. Secondly they want to complete the harvesting in the next 10 days. There is also little oversight by law enforcement agencies due to widespread agitation. Farm fires are particularly high in Barnala, Bathinda, Ludhiana and surrounding areas.”