Chandigarh, Nov 15 (PTI) Stubble burning incidents crossed the 30,000 mark in two months in Punjab which reported 2,544 fresh farm fires on Wednesday, while air quality turned "severe" again in Delhi and was in 'very poor' category in neighbouring Haryana.
Punjab had reported 67,020 and 45,464 stubble burning incidents in the corresponding period (September 15 to November 15) of 2021 and 2022 respectively.
The crop residue burning incidents are on the upswing for the past few days.
Punjab had reported 639 such cases on November 9, six on November 10, 104 on November 11, 987 on November 12, 1,624 on November 13 and 1,776 on November 14.
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.
Punjab on Wednesday reported 2,544 farm fires, taking the total number of such cases to 30,661 this season. Of these 2,544 farm fires, Bathinda witnessed maximum such cases at 356, followed by 318 in Moga, 264 in Barnala, 262 in Sangrur, 253 in Ferozepur, and 225 in Faridkot, according to Ludhiana-based Punjab Remote Sensing Centre data.
On the same day in 2021 and 2022, the state had seen 1,761 and 141 farm fires respectively.
The national capital's 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI), recorded at 4 pm every day, stood at 401. It was 397 on Tuesday, 358 on Monday and 218 on Sunday and 220 on Saturday.
A system developed by the Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology to identify the contribution of different pollution sources showed stubble-burning accounted for 23 per cent of the air pollution in the capital on Wednesday.
Neighbouring Ghaziabad (378), Gurugram (297), Greater Noida (338), Noida (360) and Faridabad (390) also recorded very poor air quality.
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', 401 and 450 'severe' and above 450 'severe plus'.
Haryana's Narnaul reported an air quality index (AQI) of 416 and Hisar 375.
In Punjab, Bathinda reported AQI at 361, followed by 280 in Mandi Gobindgarh, 238 in Patiala, 222 in Jalandhar, 163 in Amritsar, 162 in Ludhiana, 161 in Khanna and 153 in Rupnagar.
Union Territory Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, saw an AQI of 167.
Out of total 30,661 farm fires recorded from September 15 till November 15, Sangrur is leading with maximum stubble burning cases of 5,223, followed by 2,807 in Ferozepur, 2,417 in Bathinda, 2,146 in Mansa, 1,942 in Tarn Taran and 1,850 in Barnala. PTI CHS/GVS RT RT