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Why Punjab farmers burn stubble at this scale when others do not

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Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Nov 03: Delhi is choking due to extreme pollution and the root cause of the problem is the stubble burning by farmers in Punjab. Every year around October and November this is a serious problem and it ends up polluting the already polluted city of Delhi.

Paddy is grown across the country, but the farmers do not burn stubble at the scale at which the Punjab do. Author Sanjeev Sanyal took to Twitter and shared some information about the root cause of the practice. He said that the practice of crop brining has picked up pace only recently.

A farmer burns paddy stubble at a farm on the outskirts of Amritsar

Earlier the farmers in Punjab and neighbouring states did not follow the practice to this extent. Let us see what Sanyal has to say about this and what changed so much in a decade.

Delhi choked and breathless as air quality becomes 'severe'Delhi choked and breathless as air quality becomes 'severe'

Delhi AQI is running at 500-800 range. In fact, one can actually smell the ash particles in the air. The burning of crop residue is the single biggest source. So why did farmers in Punjab started doing this? It was not such a widespread practice till recently, he said.

He went on to add that this year's Economic Survey had used satellite photos to illustrate the problem. The farmers in Punjab have shifted their kharif crop cycle by three weeks.

As shown in image below, kharif sowing only gets going in early July. This means that crops are still standing in late Oct and have to be hurriedly harvested in early Nov. This means that there is just a week to clear the land for rabi sowing - hence crop burning, he went on to add.

Sanyal also said that there is a need to solve this problem. Authorities need to step in and frame regulations, choice of paddy variety and make changes in the farm practices that have led to this three week shift.

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