Can’t blame farm fires for Delhi air pollution: Government - ECAS Punjab

Can’t blame farm fires for Delhi air pollution: Government

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 14

The government today denied any role of Punjab farmers in the rise of particulate matter in Delhi.

Armed with a study by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), the state said the pollution in Delhi was localised and could not be attributed to farm fires in the National Capital Region, or Punjab.

The Air Quality Index (AQI), as pointed out in the research paper after studying data for 2018 and 2019, is much better in Punjab than in Delhi.

Study report

  • The IISER conducted a study on the contribution of paddy residue burning to the PM2.5 burden across Punjab and NCR
  • It concluded that a significant fraction of the Delhi air pollution problem arose within the NCR or in UP

Amid allegations levelled by the Delhi Government over the past few days, blaming farm fires in Punjab and Haryana for deteriorating air quality in the national capital, the Punjab Pollution Control Board also cited the AQI at various places in Punjab and Delhi, to drive home the point.

"If farm fires are the reason behind the deteriorating air quality in Delhi, should the air quality in Punjab not be worse than Delhi?" asks Krunesh Garg, Member Secretary, Punjab Pollution Control Board.

The AQI in Delhi was 179, with just 2.5 per cent particulate matter. Comparatively, the AQI in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar was 161, 156 and 159 respectively.

If farm fires are the reason behind the deteriorating air quality in Delhi, should the air quality in Punjab not be worse than Delhi? — Krunesh Garg, Pollution Board Member Secy

The state government claimed it had been successful in implementing its stubble-management plan. Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Anirudh Tiwari said besides providing machines to farmers at subsidised rates, it had also been persuading panchayats to pass resolutions against stubble burning. As many as 9,217 panchayats had already passed such resolutions and another 3,805 would do so soon, he said.

Air Quality Index

Delhi 179

Ludhiana 161

Jalandhar 156

Amritsar 159



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