Pollution in Delhi 'very poor', but govt claims 12% decline in stubble burning
Even as pollution in Delhi continues to make life difficult for residents, the government has claimed its efforts has led to 12.01% reduction in stubble burning incidents in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The government, in a statement on Tuesday, said as per ICAR's Creams Laboratory, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab have recorded a reduction of 48.2 %, 11.7% and 8.7%, respectively.
The statement said total 31,402 burning events were detected in the three states between October 1 and November 3. As per the statement, concrete steps were taken after directions from the Prime Minister's Office in 2017 to adopt mechanised crop residue management programme.
The scheme, Promotion of Agricultural Mechanisation for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue, was launched with a total outgo of Rs 1,151.8 crore for 2018-19 and 2019-20, wherein the Centre provided subsidised machinery for the management of crop residue.
The government says during 2018-19, it released funds worth Rs 269.38 crore, Rs 137.84 crore and Rs 148.60 crore, to Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, respectively. During 2019-20, the government released Rs 273.80 crore, Rs 192.06 crore and Rs 105.29 crore these states.
Despite these claims, the pollution level in Delhi is one of the worst in the world. The Centre's pollution monitoring agency SAFAR said the air quality in Delhi was at 381 (very poor) level on Tuesday while it was at 588 (severe) on Monday.
US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has also released satellite images that show a dramatic increase in stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana between October 21 to October 29.