Delhi air quality in free fall; stubble burning blamed

New Delhi: Pollution levels in Delhi are growing by the day. In the past 17 days, the Air Quality Index (AQI) has jumped from 52 to 210. An AQI above 200 is considered ‘very unhealthy.’

According to Bhure Lal, chairman of Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), stubble burning is the key culprit. “We have asked our teams to put a strict stop to this practice in the areas adjoining Delhi,” he said.

‘Will report to SC’

Satellite pictures show fires in open areas in Dwarka, Narela and Najafgargh besides many places in Punjab and Haryana. Bhure Lal said that reports on stubble burning and fields being set on fire have been sought from different department. Once the reports are in, they would be compiled and presented before the Supreme Court, he said.

The EPCA has also asked for patrolling in the industrial areas to ensure that prohibited fuels are not used in the manufacturing process during the night.

Every year, the AQI in Delhi goes up after rains. As the temperature drops, the pollution would increase. If the weather is windy, the suspended particles in the air will be carried away. In the absence of winds, the air pollution would worsen -Dr D. Saha, Environmentalist