DELHI AIR QUALITY WORSENS AS FARMERS BURN CROP RESIDUE IN ADJOINING STATES

Air quality in the Indian capital, New Delhi, and its surrounding areas, was described as "poor" on Saturday, and it's feared to deteriorate further, today, and the coming days. According to the overall air quality index (AQI), Delhi stood at 300, which falls in the poor category and just short of being described as "very poor," reported the Times of India.

Quoting the figures released by Indian government-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the Indian capital's AQI on Friday was 154, and its adjoining areas, cities like Gurgugram and Faridabad, both in the northern state of Haryana, and Ghaziabad and Noida, both in Uttar Pradesh state, also recorded "very poor" air quality levels.

The SAFAR data revealed that, the PM10 (particles with diameter less than 10 micrometers) level in Delhi, stood at 243 and the PM2.5 level was recorded at 122. The bad air quality was attributed to the burning of crop residue, by farmers in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana.

The English daily's report stated that, recent satellite images from NASA, showed the two states' farmers burning the crop residue. The practice of crop residue burning in these two states had increased significantly over the past week, particularly in areas like Amritsar, Ambala, Karnal, Hisar and Sirsa.

Burning of padi straw every year, during the months of Oct-Nov, and wheat straw during Apr, in the states of Punjab and Haryana, are said to be the major contributors of air pollution in Delhi and its adjoining areas. During the winter months, i.e. Oct-Nov, this smoke mixes with fog and creates a toxic smog every year, leading to a sharp rise in cases of breathing problems.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK