The uncontrolled burning of paddy stubble by Punjab’s farmers has again put the health of residents in the National Capital Region at risk. Every year, by the end of October or sooner, the farmers in Haryana and Punjab set paddy stubble ablaze to prepare ground for next crop.In the process they damage the soil quality and cause heavy pollution. NASA data shows that farm fires in Punjab ,that began to register on satellite images around October 10, have increased in intensity since October 30.
There hangs a thick blanket of smoke in the air over Haryana, Punjab and Delhi making it difficult to breathe for all. Smog in Delhi from October 30 night, led to visibility dropping to 700-800m from 2 km at IGI Airport. Air quality has fallen sharply from October 31, onward and it now hovers close to a “very poor” range. The issue of concern is adverse health impacts of this rampant practice. It can aggravate and trigger respiratory diseases. Not only winter crop burning triggers heavy pollution in Delhi but also results in loss of soil nutrient.
By 2025 India’s urban pollution is expected to grow five fold to a staggering 200 million while pollution is expected to grow seven times.With this tremendous growth has emerged a very critical issue of keeping paddy stubble or can say air pollution under control.
In order to do that, a holistic approach involving appropriate govt. policies can significantly contribute in reducing pollution, providing farmers the alternatives and the most important improving the public health.