The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, Has released an image showing stubble burning in North India, which is considered one of the factors contributing to air pollution.
Delhi is grappling with deteriorating air quality. Punjab and Haryana have recorded an increase of at least 2,400 farm fires till October 27. According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality monitor, the share of smoke from stubble burning in Delhi's PM 2.5 concentration is likely to jump to 25 percent on Tuesday. It was 15 percent on Monday.
The number of farm fires have surged despite the central government issuing strict directions to Haryana and Punjab last week to stop stubble burning completely. Most cases of paddy residue burning were reported in the last four days.
Punjab reported an increase of around 25 per cent in farm fires.
The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research on Monday said, "Haryana and Punjab stubble fire counts are increasing, and the transport level wind direction is favorable for plume transport (northwesterly). The biomass-related contribution may touch this year's peak value (~25%) on October 29."
The period between October 15 and November 15 is considered critical as maximum number of stubble burning incidents takes place in this span in Punjab and adjoining states and is one of the main reasons for the alarming spike in pollution in Delhi-NCR.
Despite a ban on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, farmers continue to defy it because of lack of financial incentives.
State governments are providing 50 to 80 per cent subsidy to farmers and cooperative societies to buy modern farm equipment for in-situ management of paddy straw, and running a massive awareness campaign against stubble burning.