Chandigarh: More than 2,000 farm fires were reported from Punjab on Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court issued directions to ensure stopping of crop residue burning ‘forthwith’.
Sangrur district, the birthplace of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, recorded the maximum number of stubble burning incidents in the state on Wednesday.
Many parts in Haryana saw air quality indices in the ‘severe’ and ‘very poor’ categories.
The total number of farm fires jumped to 22,981 in Punjab with 2,003 fresh such cases being reported on Wednesday, according to Ludhiana-based Punjab Remote Sensing Centre data.
Out of the 2,003 stubble burning incidents, Sangrur continued to top with 466 such cases, followed by 221 in Bathinda, 216 in Barnala, 150 in Faridkot, 131 in Mansa, 106 in Patiala, 103 in Ferozepur and 96 in Ludhiana, according to the data.
Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav on Wednesday asked the police officers to work in tandem with the civil administration to prevent stubble burning in the state.
The DGP also appointed Special DGP (Law and Order) Arpit Shukla as the police nodal officer to monitor action against stubble burning, according to an order.
‘The police nodal officer shall issue suitable directions, hold meetings, conduct tours and collect and collate relevant information and put up to the DGP Punjab and the Chief Secretary so that monitoring of the actions being undertaken by the police to ensure compliance of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is done in an effective manner,’ the order read.
Out of total 22,981 farm fires recorded from September 15 till November 8, Sangrur is leading with highest number of stubble burning cases of 4,070, followed by 2,176 in Ferozepur, 1,888 in Tarn Taran, 1,719 in Mansa, 1,524 in Patiala, 1,454 in Amritsar, 1,436 in Bathinda, 1,129 in Barnala, 1,089 in Ludhiana and 1,014 in Faridkot.
Meanwhile, Haryana’s Fatehabad recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 451, followed by Faridabad at 425, Jind at 406, Bhiwani at 400, Gurugram 385, Kaithal 380, Rohtak 362, Hisar 332, Panipat 323 and Sisra 319.
In Punjab, Bathinda reported AQI at 348, followed by Mandi Gobindgarh at 338, Ludhiana 292, Patiala 267, Jalandhar 266, Khanna 253 and Amritsar 240.
The Union Territory of Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, saw an AQI of 201.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is considered one of the reasons behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in the national capital in October and November.
As the window for wheat, a key rabi crop, is very short after paddy harvest, some farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue for sowing of the next crop.
(Published 08 November 2023, 17:45 IST)