NASA IMAGE SHOWS RISE IN STUB­BLE BURN­ING

Millennium Post - - Front Page - SAYAN­TAN GHOSH

NEW DELHI: Stub­ble-burn­ing in Pun­jab has reached its peak for this year, ac­cord­ing to fire count data from the AQUA-MODIS satel­lite of the US space agency NASA.

The farm fires be­gan in Oc­to­ber in the neigh­bour­ing Haryana, where the burn­ing cy­cle has nearly reached its end. In Pun­jab, how­ever, it is cur­rently at an an­nual high. Mean­while, as a bad news for the Del­hi­ites, the of­fi­cials of the Cen­tral Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board (CPCB) noted that the wind speed has de­creased which would ob­struct the air move­ment, hence the pol­lu­tion might in­crease.

This year, the peak of the stub­ble burn­ing has co­in­cided with Di­wali, In­dia’s most pop­u­lar Hindu fes­ti­val, which was cel­e­brated on No­vem­ber 7 with plenty of fire­works as usual. To keep pol­lu­tion in check, the Supreme Court had or­dered a par­tial ban on the burst­ing of fire­crack­ers, but it was mostly ob­served in its breach. A day be­fore Di­wali, the NASA satel­lite cap­tured over 700 in­ci­dents of stub­ble burn­ing in Pun­jab and Haryana.

Talk­ing to the Mil­len­nium Post, An­u­mita Roy Chowd­hury of the Cen­ter for Sci­ence and En­vi­ron­ment said, “The stub­ble burn­ing prob­lem picks up in No­vem­ber first week. The same thing has hap­pened and the wind speed is re­ally low which has made the sit­u­a­tion worse. How­ever, the share of pol­lu­tion through the crack­ers are much higher but the fact is all th­ese ex­ter­nal fac­tors are dan­ger­ous for Delhi.” She added that the air pol­lu­tion here is a com­bi­na­tion of a rapid in­crease in pol­lu­tion sources due to un­planned ur­ban­i­sa­tion and the geo­graph­i­cal dis­ad­van­tage that is land­locked which makes this re­gion ex­tremely vul­ner­a­ble to win­ter in­ver­sion lead­ing to mas­sive fall in the air qual­ity.

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