Thursday, November 10, 2016

Don't Blame Farmers for Delhi's Air Pollution Problems

The spike in pollution levels in Delhi’s air is an annual winter ordeal, so is burning of paddy stubble by farmers in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana after the crop is harvested. But how much does burning of crop residues contribute to Delhi’s pollution peaks? There are no definite answers. About 80% of Delhi’s pollution is due to reasons that are restricted within the national capital’s limits, while the rest is due to crop burning, India’s environment minister Anil Madhav Dave said on Monday after a meeting with neighbouring states.

According to Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director at the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment, no exact figure is available. “Stubble burning is an episodic problem which contributes to the pollution peaks in Delhi but even after the burning stops, in December, Delhi witnesses very high pollution,” she said, adding, “Delhi’s own pollution due to 8.8 million cars, constant construction activities and power plants are also major factors.” There are some other figures, too. Gufran Beig, programme director of System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) of the earth sciences ministry told the Times of India on Monday that the proportion of pollutants from crop fires in Delhi’s air rose dramatically from almost zero on 1 November to a peak of 70% on 6 November.

Read the full article @ Live Mint

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