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Crop residue burning: L-G writes to Haryana, Punjab CMs; raises air pollution concerns

V.K. Saxena has expressed concerns about alarming increase in air pollution in national capital

New Delhi, Oct 14, 2023
In a series of letters to the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Punjab, Delhi Lt. Governor (L-G) V.K. Saxena has expressed his growing concerns about the alarming increase in air pollution in the national capital due to the burning of crop residue, known as ‘parali’, in the two neighbouring states.

The L-G said that Delhi is home to over 2 crore people, as well as Parliament, Supreme Court, and numerous diplomatic missions, and also draws visitors, tourists, and diplomats attending summits and conferences, all of whom suffer the consequences of debilitating air pollution, primarily caused by the smoke and smog resulting from the burning of crop residue.

Saxena commended Haryana’s efforts last year in controlling crop residue burning, which played a significant role in mitigating the air quality issues faced by Delhi.

However, the alarming statistics for the current year are causing deep concern. In Haryana alone, between September 15 to October 11, there have been 340 reported cases of crop residue burning, a stark increase from the 83 cases during the same period in 2022.

Similarly, in Punjab, between the same dates, there have been 1,063 reported cases of crop residue burning, marking an increase of 300 cases from the previous year.

This concerning trend, despite promises from the political leaders in the region to address the issue, has left Delhi residents and authorities grappling with severe air quality issues, Saxena said.

He urged the two Chief Ministers to galvanise available resources and work closely with farmers to find sustainable solutions to this recurring issue.

The L-G also stressed on the impact of this air pollution on Delhi’s image and the well-being of its residents and urged both states to act decisively.

Meanwhile, Delhi continues its efforts to tackle local sources of air pollution, such as vehicular emissions and dust from roads and pavements.

As the winter season approaches, the focus on controlling crop residue burning becomes even more critical, as Delhi strives to provide its residents and visitors with clean and breathable air.

“In anticipation of all remedial measures at your end, I yet again assure you that we in Delhi are taking every step required to address the issue,” the L-G added.(Agency)

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