Air pollution in Delhi has always remained a topic of discussion from a very long time especially at the time of October and November. But this time, Air pollution is in its peak and is causing devastating effects on human health with the collaboration of Covid 19.
Central Pollution Control Board Member, Secretary Prashant Gargava said that; stubble burning has substantially contributed to air pollution in Delhi this year, with the rate of farm fires smoke in particulate matter at a highest of 44%.
“This is not limited to Delhi, but to the air shade that stretches to the NCR cities of Haryana, UP, Punjab and Rajasthan. All has the brunt of this air mist. So, with the collaboration of all these five states, we began addressing this problem in 2016, “he added.
Farmers set fire to their crop residues to rapidly clear their fields after harvesting and before growing wheat and potatoes. This is among the key reasons for the unprecedented rise in pollution levels in Delhi-NCR at the time of winter season every year. Last year, Punjab generated about 20 million tonnes of paddy residues, of which 9.8 million tonnes were burned by farmers. Farmers in Haryana burned 1,23 million tonnes of paddy residues out of 7 million tonnes.
Behind a ban on the burning of stubble in Punjab and Haryana, farmers continue to circumvent it, as there is a small time between the harvesting of paddy and the sowing of wheat.
And thus, On Monday, the Delhi High Court asked the Union Government to respond to a petition demanding a halt to the burning of stubble in Punjab and Haryana in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan have released notices to the respective State Pollution Control Boards on the petition posed by Mr Sudhir Mishra, a lawyer, seeking immediate action to curb the burning of stubble. Senior advocate Arvind Nayar, defending Mr Mishra, suggested that in the ongoing pandemic scenario, burning stubble would lead to a major spike in the amount of medical emergencies. The high degree of contamination caused by the burning of stubble also affects human respiratory processes, rendering the immune system poorer.
The High Court referred to the case for a hearing on 22 October and requested the Center to determine whether any related litigation had been brought before the Supreme Court.
The petition was lodged in the already pending lawsuit against air pollution in the capital.
The Environment Ministers of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh will assemble on 1 October to address and resolve the issue of stubble-burning that causes pollution every year.