Delhi’s air quality deteriorates due to stubble burning (File Photo)
According to the data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi’s air quality has deteriorated in the last one week. Meanwhile, stubble burning has started in some parts of Punjab and Haryana. NASA has mapped these fire events. However, data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) shows that the number of fires in Punjab and Haryana is less this year as compared to the same period of the last five years. These indicate a delay in the stubble burning season.
The Air Quality Index (AQI), calculated using data from 37 monitoring stations of CPCB in Delhi, stood at 179 on October 12, which is in the medium category. The AQI of the medium range is between 101 and 200. Pollution levels can cause breathing difficulties for people with lung and heart diseases. Pawan Gupta, senior earth science scientist at the University Space Research Association, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, said the initial fires usually start near Amritsar district in early September. Its date varies from year to year and depends on many factors including the season.
When did the incidents come to the fore?
As per VIIRS data on October 11 this year, the total number of fires in Haryana was 442. This figure was 750 in 2020, 723 in 2019, 619 in 2018, 988 in 2017 and 1,095 in 2016. On the other hand, the number of fire incidents in Punjab on October 11 this year was 918, while in 2020 it was 2996, in the year 2019, 869, in the year 2018 was 529 and in the year 2017 it was 1392. The data shows that the AQI has crossed 125 since October 7 and is increasing continuously. The last day when Delhi saw air quality in the ‘satisfactory’ category was October 4. The AQI on October 4 was the exact opposite of the last ten days of September. From September 20 to September 26, the AQI was in the satisfactory category and was recorded below 100.
What was seen in NASA’s pictures
NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) shows a cluster of red dots in the northern part of Punjab and the northwestern part of Haryana (around Kurukshetra and Karnal). It shows the locations of the fires mapped by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). Gupta said that the data for the last few years indicates that Sangrur, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Patiala and Moga have reported the maximum number of fires in Punjab, while Fatehabad, Kaithal, Karnal, Jind and Ambala in Haryana have reported the maximum number of fires. .
When did the number of dots appear less this year?
Compared to the Fire Dots mapped on 1 October, there is an increase in the number of dots on 12 October. As the map shows, more intense red clusters are present in parts of Punjab and Haryana on Tuesday. On 28 September, the number of red dots was even less, with only one cluster in the northern part of Punjab and a few scattered points in Punjab and Haryana.
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