Punjab reports over 1,200 farm fires despite red alert

Punjab reports over 1,200 farm fires despite red alert

Chandigarh, Nov 16 (PTI) Punjab reported more than 1,200 stubble burning incidents on Thursday, while air quality indices turned 'severe' and 'very poor' in neighbouring Haryana.

The fresh crop residue burning cases indicated that there was no let up in such cases despite the Punjab Police sounding a red alert in all the districts, warning of legal action against those found burning stubble.

Moreover, flying squads have also been keeping a vigil on stubble burning in the state.

Amid a spike in pollution levels in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court on November 7 directed Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to ensure crop residue burning was stopped 'forthwith', saying it cannot let 'people die' due to pollution.

Punjab on Thursday reported 1,271 farm fires, taking the total number of such cases to 31,932.

Of the farm fires reported on Thursday, Moga recorded maximum such cases at 237, followed by 170 in Bathinda, 145 in Barnala, 129 in Sangrur, 113 in Faridkot and 110 in Ludhiana, according to the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre data.

Out of total 31,932 farm fires recorded from September 15 till November 16, Sangrur is leading with maximum stubble burning cases of 5,352, followed by 2,884 in Ferozepur, 2,587 in Bathinda, 2,178 in Mansa, 1,995 in Barnala and 1,955 in Tarn Taran.

Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is considered one of the reasons behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in the national capital in October and November.

Meanwhile, Haryana's Narnaul and Faridabad reported an air quality index (AQI) of 423 each, followed by 404 in Rohtak, 385 in Bhiwani, 368 in Gurugram, 358 in Hisar, 355 in Sonipat, 328 in Fatehabad, 326 in Jind and 305 in Kaithal.

In Punjab, Bathinda reported AQI at 385, followed by 309 in Mandi Gobindgarh, 285 in Amritsar, 277 in Jalandhar, 250 in Patiala, 246 in Ludhiana, 222 in Khanna and 176 in Rupnagar.

The Union Territory of Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, saw an AQI of 158.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'. PTI CHS CK

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