The issue of rising smog inflicting air pollution events within the National
Capital Region –Delhi, India, throughout the month of November has been of
concern for the last few years. Recent studies have used satellite observations
and transport models, that indicates the movement of smoke from stubble burning
regions in Punjab and Haryana towards urban centre and Delhi. Quantification of
contribution of these emissions to the air pollution in Delhi, however, remains
unsure. Within the present study, a similar attempt was created, and
measurements are reported from sixteen ground-based continuous air quality
monitoring stations (CAAQMS) in the Delhi-NCR for the years 2016 and 2017.
The predominant aerosols and others CFCs and pollutants over the study area
throughout the episodic amount were verified to be absorbing in nature. The
meteorological data which is very limited indicate that the low temperatures and
high humidity conditions throughout the episodic period.
Identification and quantification of contribution from regional air pollution by
burning of the stubble is a major concern for many cities. In 2005 it had
reviewed the regional air pollutants, their impacts on air quality and
management of the urban areas. Agricultural biomass burning or the stubble
burning, forest fires, dust storms and volcanic eruptions were identified as
some of the regional sources of air pollution in urban areas.
To study regional
transport, studies have reported that the use of satellite data, transport
models and ground based observations is seen. During October-November a thick
layer of smog was observed over the Northern India mainly in the Delhi region.
More recently, 2018 have focused more specifically on the episodic events in the
Delhi-NCR capital.The contribution of stubble burning in Delhi’s air pollution
level is now increasing day by day.
SAFAR, the ministry of earth sciences air quality monitor said that there are
3,261 farm fires were seen over Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab. national
aeronautics and space administration’s satellite imaging also showed a large,
dense group of fires in Punjab, parts of these regions the only region Delhi
escaped the impact of sever air quality is due to the favourable metrological
Wind speed ranged from 10-18kmph which aided dispersal but this can
deteriorate if the high number of farm fires will still not be reduced and they
persist. Their approach uses covariation, and the contribution of the regional
pollutants are likely to be overestimated as the entire periodic enhancement is
attributed to stubble burning activity, while the possibility of some local
sources specific to the period of October-November may not have been given
In the present study, Navy Aerosol Analysis and
Prediction System (NAAPS) smoke data was used to study and quantify the
contribution of stubble burning emissions to the air pollution in the
Delhi-NCR. The government should aware the farmers about the pros and cons of
everything and to adopt the new technology and implement comprehensive ‘no
burning’ strategies at local levels.
The effects of stubble burning in the Capital:
Stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab regions is to blame for about half of the
pollution experienced in Delhi in October and November, a peak stubble burning
season in Punjab. It has some helpful effects too like it can reduce the
nitrogen tie-up and it helps the farmers in killing the slugs and other types of
pesticides. It has some harmful effects too like it losses all the nutrients
from the soil, it produces smoke and there is a risk of spreading of the fires
out of control. It affects the soil fertility by destroying the nutrients of the
soil. It effects the economic development and the climatic conditions. It is
hazardous to women and children as it has serious health issues.
A Harvard study has found this using satellite data from NASA. Many farmers in
northwest India burn the crop residue or we can say that the stubble on the
fields after the crop is fully grown and cut down, to prepare their fields for
subsequent planting of the new crop for the upcoming season. To what extent the
large quantity of smoke which will become smog after mixing with the upcoming
fog of the winters emitted by these fires contributes to the already existing
pollution in air in the Delhi has become a question.
For the past few years, every autumn in New Delhi, already covered with a thick
layer of pollution due to which people in the vicinity gets engulfed choking
smoke likened by many to a gas chamber with full of smoke. While crop burning
has been unlawful for many years, there has not been a large enough
preservative to effectively crack down on this hazardous practice because it’s
been difficult to measure exactly how much smoke from this burning is making it
downwind and the pollution to the city.
Researchers from the Harvard University and NASA have confirmed that in October
and November, there is a peak burning season in Punjab, about half of all
pollution in Delhi can be replant to this crop burning.
“On the days throughout the peak burning season, air pollution in Delhi is about
20 times higher than the peak for the fresh air vicinity as defined by the World
Health Organization (WHO)," said Daniel H. Cusworth, a graduate student at SEAS.
To model how much of that pollution is coming from the fires, the study
published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, used satellite data
from NASA to identify hotspots corresponding to active fires.
The team collected the available data for the burning season of October and
November, 2012 to 2016 and plugged it into a particle dispersion model an
algorithm that accounts for geography, wind patterns, and physics to predict
that where these particles will go with the flow of the wind.
During the post-monsoon season, the air in northern India is particularly
stagnant, meaning smoke particles moves freely in the vicinity into the
atmosphere as they can be during other times of the year.
Instead, the black carbon particles and organic particulate matter slowly
saturate throughout the entire region, which is home of 50 million people. In
urban areas, that burning smoke in the air mixes with existing pollution from
the cars and factories emitting a black deadly haze. On average if there are no
burning particles in the urban Delhi experiences about 150 mg per cubic metre of
fine particulate air pollution.
Definitive Solutions To Control The Air Pollution:
Waste decomposer:The Indian scientists at the national centre of research for organic farming
have developed a waste decomposer solution which would use the microorganisms in
decomposing the crops residue.
It is a very easy and economic friendly processes, it can be done just by
spraying the solution on the plants before the month and leaving it for a month.
Only in less than rupees 20 the stubble that will be spread on the farm and
will decompose it within a month and also with any toxic fumes in the farm.
Benefits of waste decomposers:
- It is a very cost effective way for the farmers to get rid of
- Its increases the fertility of the soil by making soil fertile by
decomposing the stubble.
- The level of organic carbon increases in the soil.
- It has no side effects on the crop
- It is cheap for farmers.
- It kills the termites.
Converting crop stubble into fodder for animals:The left over crop can be converted into the animal feeder and it is a very good
to control the air pollution. This fodder to animals has shown us that with this
feed there is an increase in the improvements in the milk production and health.
The Punjab has propagated the technology in the state, the department of animal
husbandry. The availability of crop residue is highest in the Uttar Pradesh.
This practice is cost effective in nature but there is need to keep aware the
farmers about the pros and cons of it to the farmers. There is lack of knowledge
Happy seeder:Happy Seeder is a new type of agricultural machinery is promising many benefits
for the farmers. Happy Seeder is a kind of planting machine with S.M.S. mounted
combine harvesters. A tractor mounted machine cut and lift the rice straws, sows
wheat into the bare soil, and deposit the straws where there seeds are grown. It
is a very cost effective process. It impacts on the soil damage, dangerous air
pollution and limitations in yielding.
By the reports its concluded that the
women and children suffers the most in case of the pollution or any health
related concerns, burning of these crops is a major contribute to more haze , so
we can adopt this method as it is effective in burning the large volumes of
crops. This method is able to plant wheat seed without becoming jammed by the
crops. It lifts the crops, cuts the crops, improve soil fertility, conserve
water, and reduce the harmful use of fertilizers.
The conversion of stubble crop to biodegradable cutlery:The straw is treated as to form the pulp as it is treated as a natural solvent
to separate organic polymer. This process is eco-friendly and sustainable, and
these will work as biodegradable cups and jars. These compose high silica
content but still farmers use them as animal fodders. This process use
biodegradable chemicals, making the pulp with the help of machines. They are
very cheap for the farmers.
They can use these pulps in the paper based
industries for making products like sheets, cups and other tableware. We can
also use them for the production of foams and furniture items with the raw
materials. This can be used to develop another chain of many value added
products with economic friendly for farmers. It is pretty mixture of science
with economics, society and environment.
Use of stubbles for the production of biofuels and fertilizers:Crop residues or the stubble contains high concentrations of organic components,
which returned to the soil in order to inhibit its fertility and yield potential
of the soil. These can be used either in a distributed small scale unit or
through organized commercialization for the production of fertilizers and
pesticides. They can be used to produce biofuels. Now there is a less production
of the bio fuels and bio masses based fertilizers. This needs to be expanded by
incentivizing entrepreneurs for manufacturing this technology. The problem it
faces is only of the commercialising the technology.
There is a need to prioritize the biofuel by mandating its use in the following
With the appropriate policy interventions the state government with the help
from the central government need to incentivize the utilization of biofuels. For
example, higher levels of biodiesel can be made available commercially by
permitting it for blending with regular diesel.
The Punjab government has now taken the incentives to make zero stubble burning
regions. It offers a 50% subsidy on the machines for cutting down the crops to
the farmers and 80% for more corporative societies. It will be a great help for
the farmers and will help us to reduce the growing pollution.
Last year, the supreme court of India had asked the Haryana and Punjab
government some subsidies to the farmers and increase awareness of the
Government should also impose the environmental fine on the farmers and red
entries were made against their land records.
It is difficult for farmers to unlearn what they have learned in their past life
experiences. Alternatives to stubble burning are little expensive for farmers
and they even don’t have much knowledge about the alternatives. There is a need
to make aware the farmers about the new technologies and inventions of
machineries suitable to their particular local conditions, with the aim that no
burning is used. By the reports its concluded that the women and children
suffers the most in case of the pollution or any health related concerns,
burning of these crops is a major contribute to more haze.
The government should aware the farmers about the pros and cons of everything
and to adopt the new technology and implement comprehensive ‘no burning’
strategies at local levels. We see many effects of various kinds and also the
solutions for the same which will be effective and economic to farmers and also
helps the environment to be clean and free from pollution. The mentioned
initiatives can help the farmers and the people to lessen the amount of the
pollution by the stubble burning.