Delhi pollution: Not just Diwali crackers, NASA images suggests crop burning adding to smog

The reason behind persistent smog in Delhi can be attributed to paddy burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 6, 2016 4:04 pm
delhi pollution, delhi smog, diwali crackers, paddy burning, delhi smog reason, delhi smoke reason, delhi air quality, delhi pollution reason, delhi pollution diwali crackers NASA data: Red area shows ‘fire and thermal anomalies’. Screenshot

Delhi-NCR remained under a thick cover of smog in the last few days after Diwali night, leading to poor visibility. There has been considerable anger among residents over the deteriorating air quality in the city. The rise in particulate matter has been attributed to fireworks on Diwali night, but this NASA image suggests that burning of crop stubble is considerably impacting the pollution levels. Farmers in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana have been setting fire to paddy stubble in their fields after cultivating the crop as part of the slash and burn.

WATCH VIDEO: Death By Breath: Short Documentary On Indian Express’ Special Series On Delhi’s Pollution

A NASA forecast shows high levels of ‘fires and thermal anomalies’ in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. As per an NYT report, farmers are burning around 32 million tons of leftover straw. The National Green Tribunal had last year told the government to stop farmers from burning their crops. Towards the end of October, farmers begin burning the process of burning paddy stubble which leads to plumes of smoke blackening the skies. Another reason for the poor visibility conditions is because of a drop in wind movement and increase in humidity, which makes the pollutants remain close to the ground.

The practice of farmers harvesting the crops by hand is on the decline as most use combines to cut crop, which renders the stubble useless. To get rid of the stubble farmers burn the fields to prepare it for sowing the next crop. However, the practice of crop burning has declined by 21 per cent in the last three years, as per Haryana State Pollution Control Board survey done in 2015. The board and government are also working on a strategy to curb this problem and are planning to launch a pilot project for paddy straw-based biomass power project.

Similar reports of worsening air quality have been reported in Lahore, Pakistan. A report in Dawn newspaper stated: “Lahore on Wednesday remained covered in thick and grey smog, heavily loaded with pollutants which affected the air quality.”

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. A
    Nov 3, 2016 at 10:01 am
    NA SA? What are indian satellites doing ?
  2. A
    Ashish Bansal
    Nov 4, 2016 at 12:21 pm
    is it just Diwali to blame .lt;br/gt;Where is the trees , where is the policies for;br/gt;In entire north India we have enough money to waste on liquor, Show-off ness of money and so and;br/gt;but farmers can't purchase equipment , they just burn it .... lt;br/gt;and we so called delhiates .... most irresponsible ppl
    1. D
      Nov 4, 2016 at 12:10 am
      Nobody receving theor images info at ground duties lol we cant afford crew men like nasa
      1. K
        Kash Aksh
        Nov 7, 2016 at 9:58 am
        And it will look good when you will be working in the field with chained Mr. Iyer.
        1. K
          Kash Aksh
          Nov 7, 2016 at 9:53 am
          Mr. Iyer, why not you and your's home town neighborhood's people will do the suggested work there or expelled to Pak!?
          1. K
            Krishnan Iyer
            Nov 5, 2016 at 8:22 pm
            They should make the farmers stop burning crops. After that either millions of slum dwellers from Delhi should be forced to work in the fields and remove all those stalks or be expelled to stan. Alternatively the prisoners from UP and Bihar and be chained and taken to the fields and made to remove the stalks manually.
            1. S
              Nov 3, 2016 at 8:27 am
              the farmers of all the regions of the nation, including in Tamil Nadu, are now a days burn paddy stubble after harvesting the paddy, since the straw are no more required by them for cattle food, because of the dwindling cattle potion. In the above process, the farmers besides causing air polluting, also becoming one among of the causes for global warming. The Government must take action to discourage the farmers from burning paddy straw after cultivation, and ask them to remove the same for being used as fertile at later stage.
              1. M
                Nov 3, 2016 at 6:38 am
                Punjab and Haryana, both ruled by BJP.
                1. Load More Comments