At 582, farm fires in Punjab jump to daily high, but no drastic drop in air quality - Hindustan Times
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At 582, farm fires in Punjab jump to daily high, but no drastic drop in air quality

By, Patiala
Oct 23, 2022 01:16 AM IST

Apart from Mandi Gobindgarh, where the air quality index jumped to 226, considered “poor”, the air quality in most of Punjab was within “moderate” or “satisfactory” levels

Amid the spike in stubble burning, the state recorded 582 new incidents on Saturday, highest in a day this year.

The total number of farm fires in Punjab so far this year has reached 3,696, which is still lower than 5,438 cases in the same period last year. (AFP)
The total number of farm fires in Punjab so far this year has reached 3,696, which is still lower than 5,438 cases in the same period last year. (AFP)

But apart from Mandi Gobindgarh, where the air quality index (AQI) jumped to 226, considered “poor”, the air quality in most of the state was within “moderate” or “satisfactory” levels.

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The Punjab Remote Sensing Centre, Ludhiana, through its satellites, detected 582 active fire incidents in Punjab on October 22. However, the number was lower than 1,341 on the same day in 2020 and 1,111 in 2021.

Majha region continued to report the highest number of cases on Saturday – 251 – with Tarn Taran leading with 136, followed by neighbouring district Amritsar, where 61 cases were reported and Gurdaspur where another 54 cases surfaced.

With this, the total number of farm fires in the state so far this year has reached 3,696, which is still lower than 5,438 cases in the same period last year, while in 2020, 10,775 cases were reported till October 22.

“The paddy harvest is delayed by a week due to rains in early October. Also, most farm fires in past few years took place after October 28. So,, we are anticipating more incidents in the next two weeks,” said a state agriculture department official.

Meanwhile, along with farm fires, the Punjab Pollution Control Board has started to monitor the impact of firecrackers on the AQI by conducting analysis of air quality at Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Vishal Rambani is an assistant editor covering Punjab. A journalist with over a decade of experience, he writes on politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues. He has several investigative stories to his credit.

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