Punjab farm fires: Punjab records 2,060 agricultural fires; 'severe' and 'very poor' air quality in some areas of Haryana
Chandigarh, November 07: On Tuesday, Punjab witnessed more than 2,000 farm fires, while various regions of Haryana grappled with air quality indices (AQI) categorised as 'severe' and 'very poor,' with some areas in the neighbouring state of Punjab registering 'poor' AQI levels. The issue of stubble burning continued to persist as 2,060 fresh incidents were recorded in Punjab, bringing the total number of such cases to 19,463 as per data from the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre based in Ludhiana.
— ANI (@ANI) November 4, 2023
Stubble-burning incidents reported from November 1 until November 6 account for 61 per cent of the total cases in the current season, according to the data. The total number of stubble-burning incidents, which reached 19,463 from September 15 to November 6, is 35 per cent less compared to the 29,999 cases reported during the corresponding period last year, as indicated by the data.
#WATCH | On stubble burning in Moga, Jaswinder Singh Brar, Agriculture department officer says, "There were 485 incidents of fire last year and this year 321 incidents have come to light...Teams of administration and agriculture departments have been formed. Action is being… pic.twitter.com/eEQtHDgKRz — ANI (@ANI) November 4, 2023
In 2021, the state had reported 32,734 farm fires during the same period. Among the 2,060 stubble burning incidents reported on Monday, Sangrur had the highest count with 509 cases, followed by 210 in Bathinda, 195 in Mansa, 189 in Barnala, 122 in Faridkot, and 110 in Moga. In comparison to the same day in 2021 and 2022, the state had observed 3,942 and 599 active fires, respectively.
Out of the total 19,463 farm fires reported this year, Sangrur had the highest number with 3,207 cases of stubble burning, followed by 1,976 in Ferozepur, 1,809 in Tarn Taran, 1,451 in Mansa, 1,439 in Amritsar, 1,350 in Patiala, and 1,086 in Bathinda. In the meantime, Haryana's Fatehabad recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 425, followed by Faridabad at 412, Sonipat at 412, Jind at 385, Hisar at 380, Gurugram at 376, Kaithal at 370, Narnaul at 340, Bhiwani at 334, Rohtak at 326, and Sirsa at 308.
In Punjab, Amritsar reported an AQI of 329, followed by Bathinda at 297, Ludhiana at 283, Mandi Gobindgarh at 266, Jalandhar at 231, Khanna at 228, and Patiala at 220. The Union Territory of Chandigarh, which serves as the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, recorded an AQI of 149.
For reference, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good,' 51 to 100 is 'satisfactory,' 101 to 200 is 'moderate,' 201 to 300 is 'poor,' 301 to 400 is 'very poor,' and 401 to 500 is 'severe.' Stubble burning, a common practice in Punjab and Haryana, is a major contributor to the alarming rise in air pollution levels in Delhi during October and November. Some farmers resort to burning their fields to quickly clear crop residue after the paddy harvest, creating a narrow window for the cultivation of wheat, a vital Rabi crop.
With roughly 31 lakh hectares of paddy fields, Punjab generates around 180-200 lakh tonnes of paddy straw each year, of which 120 lakh tonnes are managed in-situ (mixed with the soil) and around 30 lakh tonnes through ex-situ (used as fuel) methods. The state recorded 49,922 fire events in 2022, 71,304 in 2021, 76,590 in 2020, 55,210 in 2019, and 50,590 in 2018.
- With inputs from agencies