On the day of Diwali, that is 12 November, incidents of stubble-burning in Punjab rose nine times compared to the previous day, and 164 times the day before that.
On 13 November, that is a day after Diwali, the number of such farm fires almost doubled compared to the already steep number on Diwali.
Hindustan Times quoted officials as saying that the sudden and steep spike in farm fires in Punjab on Diwali was because farmers thought they could pass off farm fires as firecrackers and evade police action.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Supreme Court has imposed a complete ban on stubble-burning in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, particularly using harsh words for Punjab, which contributes the maximum to the number of farm fires in this season in north India.
As per data provided by government recently, 93 per cent of all farm fires between 15 September and 7 November were from Punjab.
“Pollution is not a political game where one state shifts the blame to another depending on the ruling political dispensation…This [pollution] is a murder of the health of the people,” the apex court said.
The number of stubble burning incidents on Diwali in Punjab was 987, compared to 106 the previous day and only six the day before that. A day after Diwali, the number rose to 1,624.
The data was shared by newspapers based on information provided by Ludhiana-based Punjab Remote Sensing Centre.
The capital city, New Delhi, meanwhile, continues to bear the brunt of these farm fires in terms of spike in pollution levels.
With a relief of two days before Diwali, due to steep fall in incidents of farm fires in Punjab as stated above, the capital city saw a sudden spike in pollution levels a day after Diwali, when the farm fires went steeply up.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!