To curb and abate air pollution during the ongoing harvest season, the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) has been actively monitoring paddy residue burning events from 15th September 2021 onwards in the states of Punjab, Haryana and 8 National Capital Region (NCR) Districts of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.). As per the report based on the protocol framed by ISRO for the Commission, paddy residue burning events have been reduced by 69.49% in Punjab, by 18.28% in Haryana and by 47.61% in the 8 NCR Districts of Uttar Pradesh during the one-month period compared to the same period last year. During one month period of the current year, the total reported residue burning events in Punjab are 1286 as against 4216 for the same period of last year.
Similarly, in respect of Haryana, the reported fire incidents are 487 as against 596 for the corresponding year last year. In the 8 NCR Districts of Uttar Pradesh, the total stubble fire incidents reported during this period are 22 as against 42 for the corresponding period of last year. No fire counts have been reported from Delhi and two NCR Districts of Rajasthan. The first paddy residue burning was reported on 16th September in Punjab, 28th September in Haryana and 18th September in the NCR area of Uttar Pradesh. The major hotspots of paddy residue burning in the state of Punjab are Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Patiala and Ludhiana. These four districts account for 72% of stubble burning events. Similarly, the major hotspots in Haryana are Karnal, Kaithal and Kurukshetra. These 3 districts account for 80% of the stubble burning incidences.
The Commission is taking up with the State Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on a daily basis to ensure strict implementation of the action plan and the framework to curb paddy residue burning events. CAQM has also held series of meetings with State Government Officials including the District Collectors/ District Magistrates of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Out of a total 1795 sites where burning has been reported in Punjab, Haryana and 8 NCR Districts of Uttar Pradesh up till 14.10.2021, 663 fields have been inspected by the enforcement agencies and officials concerned of the respective states. Environmental Compensation (EC) has been imposed in 252 cases. Harvesting will be at its peak in the next few weeks and the State Governments are taking steps as per the Plan of Action to improve the efficacy of enforcement and implementation to effectively tackle the problem of stubble burning.