You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » Environment
Business Standard

Stubble burning rose by over 20% this year: Air quality commission official

Stubble burning incidents saw a steep rise of more than 20 per cent this year in comparison to the last two years, a factor which plays a significant role in spiking pollution levels in the Delhi-NCR

Stubble burning | Air quality | air pollution

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Farmer burns stubble in their fields at Devi Dass Pura in Amritsar district on Saturday.

incidents saw a steep rise of more than 20 per cent this year in comparison to the last two years, a factor which plays a significant role in spiking pollution levels in the Delhi-NCR, K J Ramesh, member of the newly formed commission for management, said on Friday.

Ramesh said the 'Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas' has started discussions with stakeholders and he exuded confidence of coming up with an "acceptable and suitable solution" to combat by next year.

He said 2018 recorded 51,751 incidents of farm fires from mid-October to November end. This figure was the highest between 2010-2018, he said. The number dropped marginally to 50,738 a year later.

"This year, 73,000 cases of farm fires were reported until November 17," Ramesh, who was the former director general of the India Meteorology Department, said citing a study done by the Action Group.

Ramesh was speaking at a webinar on 'Clean Air Management for Public Welfare'. The webinar was organised by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, a research body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. IITM has launched several initiatives like SAFAR (System of and Weather Forecasting And Research) to track

Farm fires or post-harvest season during October-November in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan significantly contribute to the pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.

Last month, the Centre announced formation of the Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas.

The members include a chairperson, a representative of Environment secretary and five ex-officio members who are either chief secretaries or secretaries in charge of the environment departments of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

It also has two full-time members who have been joint secretaries to the central government, three full-time independent technical members who have specific scientific knowledge regarding air pollution, one technical member from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), one technical member nominated by ISRO and three members of NGOs having experience in matters concerning combating of air pollution.

Ramesh, who is the one of the technical members, said the commission began its work from November 16.

"Our work is to develop a common understanding on the issues of concern for Delhi's (Delhi-NCR) air quality by taking all states and central government ministries into assessment, understanding the process and evolving the most acceptable approach to emission reduction in Punjab, neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh...."

He said the commission has started interactions with various groups in Delhi, with the Central Pollution Control Board, IMD and Indian Agricultural Research Institute's microbiology group where the bio-decomposer option is being talked about and tested at selected field sites.

"We had a very detailed briefing from member of the EPCA (Environment Pollution [Prevention and Control] Authority), Sunita Narain.

"With everybody's effort, the most acceptable and suitable solution for air quality improvement would emerge, definitely by next year. The target is to show some substantive changes with which the commission is working," he said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, November 27 2020. 20:45 IST