Delhi Minister releases NASA images of stubble burning, demands immediate halt

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New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) As Delhi’s air quality inches fast towards the “very poor” category, Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Wednesday released NASA satellite’s recent images of north India which showed stubble burning at “dangerous levels”.

“It is high time that the crop residue burning in the fields be immediately halted, failing which a serious health hazard awaits entire northern India,” he said in a statement.

Last week, Hussain had released photographs of stubble burning across the Delhi-Chandigarh National Highway.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Minister has been requesting the central and neighbouring state governments – Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh – to take action to prevent air pollution.

“It is beyond any reasonable understanding as to why this menace is being ignored despite a well-known fact that the consequences will be disastrous in the coming days,” Hussain said.

With a Graded Response Action Plan already in force, Hussain said that there will be “zero tolerance for garbage and crop residue burning”. He has also pleaded for covering all the construction material to stop dust re-suspension.

Burning of paddy straw every year during October and November and wheat straw during April in Punjab and Haryana are the major contributors of air pollution in Delhi-NCR, as the smoke travels towards the national capital.

–IANS

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