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.

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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.”

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First Published on: November 3, 2016 11:34 am
  1. A
    Ajay
    Nov 3, 2016 at 10:01 am
    NA SA? What are indian satellites doing ?
    Reply
    1. 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 environment.lt;br/gt;In entire north India we have enough money to waste on liquor, Show-off ness of money and so and so..lt;br/gt;but farmers can't purchase equipment , they just burn it .... lt;br/gt;and we so called delhiates .... most irresponsible ppl
      Reply
      1. D
        dharminder
        Nov 4, 2016 at 12:10 am
        Nobody receving theor images info at ground duties lol we cant afford crew men like nasa
        Reply
        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.
          Reply
          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!?
            Reply
            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.
              Reply
              1. S
                sivaraman
                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.
                Reply
                1. M
                  Manzoor
                  Nov 3, 2016 at 6:38 am
                  Punjab and Haryana, both ruled by BJP.
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    mathimathi
                    Nov 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm
                    As per a science circus fake world's first environmentalist never be help new delhi and its adjoining uttar Hindustan from an Air Pollution.
                    Reply
                    1. P
                      pawan Nautiyal
                      Nov 3, 2016 at 7:46 am
                      so should modi tell to stop burn the cracker.?
                      Reply
                      1. V
                        Vihari Naidu
                        Nov 3, 2016 at 9:48 am
                        Bjp led governments in Punjab and Haryana don't prevent the burning of remains of crops because AAP is in power in Delhi. So people of Delhi should choke as they voted AAP to power. That must be the logic.
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          Rajiv Edavan
                          Nov 3, 2016 at 8:55 am
                          Crop stubble burning is definitely a serious issue which contributes to mive pollution in Delhi and surrounding cities and also many other parts of the country. Straw waste is good raw material for bio diesel and compost. Government should introduce such industries close to farming areas where they can be processed usefully without damage to the environment.
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            Rakesh
                            Nov 3, 2016 at 7:30 am
                            Government should take strict action on this.
                            Reply
                            1. U
                              Unknwn
                              Nov 3, 2016 at 4:24 pm
                              Person from other state settle in delhi for work start polluting it and go back to their homes
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Ravinder
                                Nov 7, 2016 at 5:05 am
                                The traffic running on damaged roads in cities around Delhi like Gurgaon, Faridabad, adding to the smog in form of dust. Why blame only the farmers? Can't our civic authorities do something about controlling this dust?
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Sanjiv
                                  Nov 3, 2016 at 11:04 am
                                  They are adding pride to the country by hanging there as zombies.
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    A.s. Malhotra
                                    Nov 3, 2016 at 9:34 am
                                    Report of NASA is highly appreciated. Delhi and NCR region covering with dense smog due fire crackers after Diwali and burning of crop stubble by the farmers in surrounding States Haryana and Punjab including stan deteriorating air quality with toxic ges and particulate matter, which directly causing lot of health hazard problems especially respiratory and asthmatic patients. In this regards, suitable measures should be taken by States pollution Boards and National Green Tribunal for regressing the pollution.
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Raj
                                      Nov 3, 2016 at 7:19 am
                                      so what ISRO and its satellites are doing nowadays?
                                      Reply
                                      1. Y
                                        yash
                                        Nov 4, 2016 at 4:57 am
                                        Must read:lt;br/gt;How much pollution we made in this Diwali?lt;br/gt;""
                                        Reply
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