As the pollution level is immensely rising in Delhi, stubble burning has not stopped in many parts of Amritsar. Farmers are stating that the government has not done anything in regard to providing them with machinery and even compensation in order to control the burning of stubble.
Gopi, who is a farmer, said while reporting to ANI, “We are helpless. The government has not provided us with compensation of Rs 7,000 and machinery needed to control stubble burning. If we would not burn the stubble, our next crop will be late. Our crops are not being brought at MSP rates. Even the Supreme Court has said that farmers only cannot be blamed for pollution as industries and vehicles cause pollution in Delhi.”
While Kanwar, another farmer also stated that, “It is not the stubble which is burning, it is also the ‘arthi’ (corpse) of the promises of the government. Nothing is being done on the ground and everything exists only on paper. We are helpless. If we think about not burning stubble and the promises of the government, we will not be able to go ahead with our next crops.”
To further understand what stubble burning is, it is the process of lighting a fire in the straw stubble that remains after the harvesting of numerous crops such as wheat and rice. This process of burning the farm residue is one of the major causes that cause air pollution in the parts of north India, making the air quality intoxicated around this time of the year. While combining with the emission of vehicles, it impacts the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi, the national capital.
As of Sunday, at 10:30 PM, the AQI is severely poor. According to the government agencies, an AQI between 0-50 is considered to be good whereas 51-100 is satisfactory, 200 is moderate, 210-300 is poor, 301-400 is relatively very poor and lastly, 401-200 are marked as hazardous.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a ‘pollution lockdown’ on Saturday to tackle the increasing air pollution under which all the schools would remain closed physically for a week from Monday.
Government officials will be asked to work from home whereas private officers will be advised to work from home as much as possible, as stated by the Chief Minister.