New Delhi: The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that paddy residue burning events from September 15 to October 25 this year, have been reduced by one-third in Punjab, compared to the last year.
According to the status report submitted by the Centre with respect to steps taken to abate air pollution in Delhi-NCR, 2,446 events were reported in Punjab this year – between September 15 and October 25 – as compared with 7,429, in the same period, last year. In 2022, Haryana reported 1,091 events, however this year in the past one month it reported 1027; and in Uttar Pradesh 54 events were reported in 2020, but this year only 30 events were reported so far.
According to the year-wise fire count of cumulative paddy stubble burning incidents reported from October 1 to October 25, Punjab has recorded drastic reduction in such incidents. On October 19, 2019, Punjab reported 7,572 incidents, which increased to 16,221 on October 19, 2020. However, on October 19, 2021, Punjab cumulatively recorded 5,919 incidents. For Haryana, 3,183 incidents were recorded on October 19, 2019, which reduced to 2,218 a year later, and on October 19, this year, it recorded 1,828 cumulative stubble burning incidents.
Uttar Pradesh recorded a marginal increase in fire incidents – On October 19, 2019, 55 incidents were reported and on October 19, this year, 61 incidents were reported.
The Centre had filed an affidavit along with a status report with respect to steps taken by the Union of India, Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas and the Central Pollution Control Board.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said: “We have perused the said affidavit along with the status report and the same is taken on record. Learned counsel appearing for Respondent No 1 is directed to serve a copy of the affidavit as also the Status Report to the other side immediately”.
The bench also comprising justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli directed the Delhi government to file an affidavit regarding steps taken to curb pollution.
“List the matter immediately after Diwali Holidays. In the meantime, learned Solicitor General is directed to take necessary steps towards control of the pollution”, said the bench in its order.
The top court is hearing petitions against stubble burning in neighbouring states of the capital, which leads to critical pollution levels in the city.