New Delhi, Oct 10: Even as the Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi NCR ahead of Diwali, stubble burning, which was seen as another reason for post Diwali pollution, continues. Despite warnings by government authorities, farmers resorted to stubble burning in Karnal, days before Diwali. Also Read - 70-Year-Old Man, Punjab's First COVID-19 Casualty, Transmitted Virus to Hundreds: Reports
Farmers in Punjab and Haryana resort to stubble burning every year around October to clear the left over from the Kharif crop and make their fields ready for winter farming. Burning the stubble is a cheaper method of clearing the fields than doing it through labour employment or expensive equipment. Also Read - COVID-19: Punjab Govt to Release 6,000 Prisoners From All Jails Across State
The farmers say that’s the only option they have and have decided to continue doing so. “We have no option but to burn stubble to be able to sow again and have taken a decision to continue doing so,” said Ratan Maan, State President ,Bharatiya Kisan Union. He added big industries are also causing air pollution and must be shut down. Also Read - Amid Lockdown, Punjab Govt Announces Rs 20 Crore For Free Food, Medicines to Poor People
Last year, Delhi witnessed thick smog after Diwali, bringing air quality standards to an all time low in the national capital. Both firecrackers and stubble burning were blamed by environmentalists. This year, too, even before Diwali, Delhi’s air quality has been rated “very poor” by government authorities.
To curb it this year, the Supreme Court on Monday restored the ban on the sale of firecrackers till November 1. The court said, while delivering its order, that it wants to test the effect of the ban on air quality after Diwali.
While firecrackers are banned, stubble burning is going to continue. It now remains to be seen whether air quality in Delhi gets better than last year post Diwali.