NEW DELHI: After a long haul, parts of the national capital saw light rain on Tuesday evening, October 5, 2021. This might be one of the last few showers of the season even though monsoon withdrawal is expected to be delayed this year for most parts of the country, said officials in the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
A delayed monsoon withdrawal may push the crop stubble burning in neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab to the latter half of the month, according to the experts. As per IMD data, the Safdarjung Observatory received 0.5 mm rainfall between 2.30 pm and 5.30 pm. Lodhi Road station received 0.3 mm rain during the same time.
“Usually monsoon would withdraw by September end or first week of October. But this year, with continuous low-pressure areas forming over the Bay of Bengal, it is likely to withdraw by the second week of October. So far because of good winds, air quality and intermittent showers has been fine,” said the IMD official.
So far air quality has been in check, but if stubble burning incidents coincide with the onset of winter, it may add to the already high pollution levels during that time. Centre for Science and Environment executive director Anumita Roychowdhury, said: “Unlike last year when September was mostly dry with little rain, stubble fires had intensified from mid-September itself, the number of instances this season may pick up only in the latter half of the month.”
“While the impact of stubble burning to Delhi’s pollution will depend on the wind direction at that time, it is likely that coinciding with stubble fires with the festive season and the onset of winter may result in a toxic combination leading to a spike in pollution levels,” she said.