AT THE end of wheat harvesting season, and a day after voting day in Punjab, the state recorded the highest number of stubble burning incidents of the season on May 20 (Saturday).
Over the last five days (till Wednesday), the state has recorded 40 per cent stubble burning incidents of this season. According to the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC), Ludhiana, under the Punjab Pollution Control (PPCB) on May 20, 1,595 fires were recorded — which forms 15% of the total stubble burning incidents of this season.
A total of 10,114 fire incidents were recorded in Punjab during this season till May 22, including 4,092 (40%) in just the past five days.
Anil Sood, head of the ACM Division, PRSC, Ludhiana, told The Indian Express that in the past five days, three days were quite crucial when 1,595 fires were recorded on May 20, 863 on May 21 and 848 on May 18. Of the 1,595 fires on May 22, 5 were recorded in Ludhiana, 153 in Amrtisar, 143 and 130 in Firozpur and Jalandhar, respectively.
Sood added that farmers are burning the wheat stubble in the fields to clear them for the next crop. PPCB sources said there has been a rampant increase in field fires in the past five days and farmers are not ready to listen anyone including agriculture officials and PPCB officials.
Despite the stubble burning, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Punjab is still between ‘satisfactory’ to ‘moderate’, barring Rupnagar, which recorded a ‘poor’ AQI on Wednesday. Ludhiana, which had recorded maximum fires on May 20 had ‘moderate’ AQI on Wednesday. Amritsar, Bathinda,
Patiala, Jalandhar, Mandi Gonbindgarh too recorded ‘moderate’ to ‘satisfactory’ AQI Wednesday.