NEW DELHI: Crop stubble burning instances in neighbouring states that saw a major spike this season with the numbers going as high as seen in 2016, are on a decline now with the kharif season coming to an end. This time the season has ended late, mainly because of delayed harvest. With farm fires being almost over, the city’s pollution scene is still going to be bad owing to local pollutants and adverse meteorological conditions as cold conditions set in, said experts.
As per an analysis by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), this year Punjab and Haryana (combined) reported a total of 85,754 farm fires, highest since 2016. While the farm fires usually subside by mid-November, this year noted a delay by 4-5 days. The slight shift observed in the farm fires trend is attributable to the delayed harvest on account of delayed monsoon withdrawal.
“With the season’s close approaching, fires are dipping with daily counts less than 1,000 from November 17. With the current kharif season coming to an end, it is important for the states to engage with farmers to take stock of continued burning and to address the logistical and financial shortcomings. For the next season, the respective state governments should incentivise farmers to transition away from paddy,” said L S Kurinji, programme associate, CEEW.
“Burning is almost over in Punjab and Haryana but continues in parts UP and MP. The numbers are on a decline, as season is ending,” said Pawan Gupta, a research scientist at the Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, Universities Space Research Association.
Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy at Centre for Science and Environment said while the phase of external emissions is almost over, stringent action is required to curb local pollutants to prevent the smog episodes in the latter half of winter.
Satellite data shows decline
Satellite data from NASA also showed a decline in the number of farm fires in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh