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Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Stubble burning up 44% in state

Parveen Arora

Tribune News Service

Karnal, November 23

All warnings of the state government to farmers not to burn crop residue seem to have failed to get the desired results, with the state recording a 44 per cent increase in cases of stubble burning.

As per data available, the state reported 9,512 active fire locations (AFLs) from September 25 to November 22, while the number was 6,581 last season.

Fatehabad led the tally with 1,974 cases, followed by Kaithal (1,557), Jind (1,164), Karnal (1,051), Kurukshetra (843), Ambala (806), Sirsa (631) and Yamunanagar (507).

Meanwhile, air quality index (AQI), which had improved from poor to moderate or good after post Diwali showers, turned poor again by 4 pm on Monday.

Need to verify data

Active fire locations (AFLs) are being reported with the help of two satellites. There was a data mismatch when teams of officials went to fields and found no trace of fire at several places. The Agriculture Department will verify the data. —S Narayanan, member secretary, Haryana state pollution control board

Hisar and Fatehabad were in the very poor category with AQI at 321 and 319, respectively. Gurugram (285), Jind (284), Rohtak (278), Ambala (277), Faridabad (272), Yamunanagar (265), Bahadurgarh (257), Dharuhera (249), Manesar (245), Ballabgarh (222), Sirsa (208) and Narnaul (206) were in the poor category.

Panchkula (195), Kurukshetra (187), Karnal (179), Kaithal (165), Sonepat (157) and Nuh (110) were in moderate category, while Panipat was in the satisfactory category with AQI at 86 AQI.

Data of the Haryana Space Application Centre had shown a rise in cases of stubble burning, said S Narayanan, member secretary, Haryana State Pollution Control Board.

He said AFLs were being reported with the help of two satellites, but the data got mismatched when teams went to fields and found no trace of fire at several places.

"The Chief Secretary has directed all Deputy Commissioners to get AFLs checked. The Consortium for Research on Agro-Ecosystem Monitoring and Modelling from Space of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, is also monitoring AFLs. The Agriculture Department will check data with it," he said.

Asked about the poor quality of air, he said apart from stubble burning, industrial pollution, vehicles and other reasons contributed to air pollution.

from The Tribune

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