Air quality in four Haryana cities degrades amid a surge in farm fires

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As farm fire occurrences continued to be reported from across Haryana, the air quality index (AQI) of Jind, Charkhi Dadri, Bahadurgarh, and Dharuhera cities on Thursday deteriorated to the “severe” classification, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). 

The AQI of 10 different cities- Yamunanagar, Rohtak, Panipat, Manesar, Kaithal, Hisar, Gurugram, Fatehabad, Faridabad, and Balllabgarh—had moved into the “very poor” zone. The air quality of eight additional cities- Ambala, Bhiwani, Kurukshetra, Narnaul, Palwal, Sirsa, and Sonepat was recorded as “poor”. 

The AQI between 0 to 50 is viewed as acceptable, 51 to 100 adequate, and 101 to 200 moderate, and the AQI enters ‘poor’ zone when it is between 201 to 300. The AQI is classified ‘very poor’ between the 301-400 mark and it traverses to the ‘severe’ zone at 401. 

Haryana had distinguished 4,211 active farm fire areas until October 30, 2019, provoking the BJP-JJP alliance government to find a way to stop stubble burning and contain air contamination in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR). Notwithstanding, during the continuous paddy harvesting season that started on September 25, the quantity of active fire areas has just expanded in contrast with a similar period a year ago with 4,837 farm fires (626 more than a year ago) found till October 28. 

Around twelve odd Haryana districts are in the NCR and the contamination control board authorities accredit air pollution in the NCR in October-November to numerous components, including construction, destruction, and stubble burning. 

Haryana delivers almost 68 lakh metric tonne (LMT) paddy, including in excess of 25 LMT basmati, planted on around 32 lakh acre of land. 

As stubble burning is being accused of pushing air quality record level in Delhi-NCR to high levels, the Haryana government has been charging challans and fine on farmers for burning yield residue.

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