Chandigarh, Nov 18 (PTI) Punjab on Saturday reported over 600 stubble-burning incidents with farmers in many districts continuing to set crop residue ablaze, thus defying the Supreme Court orders to halt the farm fires.
Air quality indices remained in 'very poor' and 'poor' categories in many parts of Haryana and Punjab.
Many farmers in Punjab continued to burn straw even as district police chiefs and deputy commissioners in several districts visited fields to check stubble-burning incidents.
Amid a spike in pollution levels in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court on November 7 directed Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to ensure crop residue burning was stopped “forthwith”, saying it cannot let "people die" due to pollution.
Of the 637 farm fires reported on Saturday, Moga witnessed maximum such cases at 120, followed by 111 in Fazilka, 69 in Ferozepur, 57 in Bathinda, 51 in Muktsar, 48 in Barnala and 43 in Faridkot.
On the same day in 2021 and 2022, the state had seen 680 and 701 farm fires respectively.
With fresh farm incidents, the total number of such cases rose to 33,719, according to the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre data.
Out of a total of 33,719 farm fires recorded from September 15 till November 18, Sangrur is leading with maximum stubble burning cases of 5,501, followed by 3,067 in Ferozepur, 2,753 in Bathinda, 2,290 in Moga, 2,207 in Mansa, and 2,160 in Barnala.
The state reported 69,980 and 48,489 stubble-burning incidents in the corresponding period of 2021 and 2022 respectively.
Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is considered one of the reasons behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in the national capital in October and November. Meanwhile, Haryana's Sonipat reported an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 390, followed by 340 in Fatehabad, 314 in Faridabad, 301 each in Gurugram and Hisar, 296 in Bhiwani, 273 in Rohtak and 262 in Kaithal.
In Punjab, Bathinda reported AQI at 329, followed by 264 in Jalandhar, 232 in Patiala, 219 in Ludhiana, 208 in Khanna, 195 in Amritsar and 168 in Rupnagar.
Union Territory Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, saw an AQI of 141.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'. PTI CHS NB