Concentrated stubble burning around Diwali may compound problem: CSE

Updated: Oct 20 2022 10:00PM

New Delhi, Oct 20 (PTI) Though Diwali this year will be observed during the "warmer part of the early winter", concentrated stubble burning in Delhi's neighbouring states may compound the problem, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said on Thursday.

The air quality in Delhi-NCR starts worsening in October due to unfavourable meteorological factors such as low temperatures and wind speed, which do not allow dispersion of pollutants.

A cocktail of emissions from firecrackers and stubble burning in neighbouring states further deplete the air quality.  The CSE said Diwali this year is being observed early in the season "which means the warmer and windier conditions will help dilute the pollution that is staple of Diwali night celebrations".  Unlike previous two years, the smoke from the farm stubble fires has not overwhelmed the air quality of the region yet and rains in early October have also kept the air relatively clean so far.  However, a prolonged spell of rains in early October has delayed paddy harvesting in parts of Punjab and Haryana that could lead to a spike in stubble burning incidents as farmers would be in a race against time to prepare their fields for the next crop.