Air quality very poor in Punjab, Haryana

DW BUREAU / CHANDIGARH

The pollution level continued to remain a cause of concern in Haryana and Punjab on Saturday, with several districts reporting air quality indices in the ‘very poor’ and ‘poor’ categories.

Gurgaon and Faridabad in Haryana were the worst-affected cities, reporting air quality index (AQI) at 372 and 369 respectively, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The air quality in Manesar and Rohtak was 338 each, while it was 326 and 311 in Jind and Bahadurgarh respectively. Hisar and Panipat reported their respective AQIs at 287 and 292, the

CPCB said.

Punjab reported air quality in the ‘poor’ and ‘moderate’ categories.

The respective AQIs in Amritsar, Bathinda, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala stood at 251, 103, 158, 158 and 117, as per the data.

Chandigarh witnessed air quality index at 144.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’, and 401-500 ‘severe’. Above 500 is ‘severe-plus’ or ’emergency’ category.

The number of incidents of farm fire, considered a major reason for the pollution in the state and neighbouring areas, including Delhi, have dropped significantly in Punjab and Haryana over the past few days, officials said.

On Friday, a total of 91 stubble burning incidents took place, an official of the Ludhiana-based Punjab Remote Sensing Centre said.

In all, the total stubble burning incidents between September 23 and November 15 in Punjab were 48,780, as compared to 46,545 in corresponding period last year.

Haryana has reported a total of over 6,000 incidents of farm fires in this season so far.

On Friday, the Punjab government had said it disbursed over Rs 19 crore to 29,343 non-basmati paddy cultivating small and marginal farmers from across the state, who have not burned the paddy residue.

Punjab government had decided to give Rs 2,500 per acre as compensation to those small and marginal farmers who have refrained from burning paddy straw.

In Punjab, more than 1,500 FIRs have been registered against erring farmers for defying the ban and a fine of Rs 3.01 crore imposed on more than 11,000 farmers for stubble burning, while 71 harvesting machines had been impounded.

(editor@dailyworld.in)

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