Despite claims of the Union government that crop stubble burning has declined, it seems it will be rampant even this year. Nasa satellites have already started showing red dots, indicating open burning in Punjab and Haryana.
Daily data of fire instances, collated from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) feed of Nasa, show a reduction in the number of instances from 2016 to 2018, especially in Punjab. In this state, the highest recorded instances were 7,755 on November 7, 2016. In 2017, 4,623 fires were reported on November 4, while on November 8, 2018 it was 4,473.
Punjab records the most cases of stubble burning with Amritsar, Firozpur, Ludhiana, Faridkot, Bathinda, Mansa, Patiala and Sangrur districts contributing nearly 45% to the total emission, an IIT-Delhi study has pointed out. In Haryana, Kaithal, Hisar and Sirsa districts contribute 17% to the pollution.
According to the VIIRS data, the highest recorded instances in Haryana were 736 on November 7, 2016. In 2017, it was 491 on November 4, while it was 559 on November 7, 2018. In Uttar Pradesh, the highest number of fires was 413 on November 3, 2016. In 2017, there were 358 fires on November 5 and 372 on November 8, 2018.
Image via TOI