Reduction in active fire incidents in Punjab, Haryana this year: Minister

Reduction in active fire incidents in Punjab, Haryana this year: Minister
Reduction in active fire incidents in Punjab, Haryana this year: Minister

Active fire incidents in Punjab and Haryana due to stubble burning, which contributes to air pollution in Delhi, recorded a reduction of 11 per cent and 29 per cent respectively between September 30 and November 30 this year, Parliament was told Friday.

Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma said the contribution of stubble burning to the particulate matter (PM2.5) for the kharif season this year reached a high of 36 per cent on October 26 and 33 per cent on November 5.

“Satellite-based tracking of active fire incidents due to stubble burning has been done by state governments and remote-sensing institutes. Daily tracking of active fire events in Punjab and Haryana is done on the basis of reports sent by remote-sensing institutes and organisations.

“In Punjab, active fire events reported till November 30, 2018 are 59,695 compared to 67,079 in 2017 for the respective period (Sep 30-Nov 30). And in Haryana, 9,232 active fire events have been reported till November 30, 2018 from September 30, 2018, and for the same period 13,085 events were reported in 2017,” the minister said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

He said to stop the burning of crop residue, that leads to higher level of air pollution in Delhi and NCR especially during adverse meteorological conditions in early winter in North India, the Centre has introduced a central scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for in-situ management of crop residue in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi for the period from 2018-19 and 2019-20 with an outlay of Rs. 1151.80 crore.

“This year’s allocation of central funds is Rs. 591.65 crore,” he said.

He said stubble burning in northern states contributes to air pollution in Delhi-NCR in winter season as per the report of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, Ministry of Earth Sciences.

“System of Air Quality & Weather Forecasting & Research (SAFAR) has analysed the contribution of stubble burning in the total PM2.5 for the kharif season this year. This estimated percentage share of stubble burning in PM2.5 reached to a high of 36 per cent on October 26, 2018 and 33 per cent on November 5, 2018,” he said. PTI