Ahead of Diwali festivities, Delhi’s air quality slips to ‘very poor’ category

Air quality in Delhi slipped to "very poor" category on Saturday with a steep rise in stubble burning in the last two days contributing to 14 per cent in the city's deteriorating air

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NH Web Desk

Air quality in Delhi slipped to "very poor" category on Saturday with a steep rise in stubble burning in the last two days contributing to 14 per cent in the city's deteriorating air. According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' forecast body SAFAR, Delhi's AQI slipped to a very poor category with PM 2.5 as the lead pollutant.

According to the data from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), as many as 1,948 farm fires were recorded in the last two days – October 15 and 16- compared to 1,795 incidents which occurred in an entire month till October 14.

“The infiltration of stubble-burning-related air mass is caused by favourable climatic circumstances. The contribution of stubble burning in Delhi's air has unexpectedly jumped to 14 percent,” the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ forecast body SAFAR said.

In the last two days, 1,089 farm fires were recorded in Punjab, Haryana had 539 fires, Uttar Pradesh had 270 incidents, Rajasthan had 10 fires and Madhya Pradesh recorded 40 such incidents.


The data showed that the fire incidents recorded within two days are much higher than the incidents which occurred in the last 10 days till October 14.

A total of 1,008 fires were recorded in Punjab between October 6-14 and 463 fires occurred in Haryana during the same time.

Farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue before cultivating wheat and potato. It is one of the main reasons for the alarming spike in pollution in Delhi-NCR.

The active fire events due to rice residue burning were monitored using satellite remote sensing, following the new Standard Protocol for Estimation of Crop Residue Burning Fire Events using Satellite Data.

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