The level of air pollution in Delhi has become hazardous. The Supreme Court has taken action against this crisis due to crop burning. In a recent hearing, the court directed the following four states—Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh—to stop the practice of burning crops immediately.
Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dulia, constituting the two-judge bench, designated the Chief Secretary to oversee the measures taken to stop crop burning. The court also stressed cultivating alternative crops instead of paddy.
The Punjab Government acknowledges this problem and highlights the challenges caused by the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy, and they also pointed out that these MSP policies encouraged the smuggling of rice from other states, causing financial loss to them.
Burning crops in Punjab is considered a major cause of air pollution in Delhi as it releases harmful pollutants, leading to hazardous levels of pollution. So, the court ordered to stop burning the crops in the state to prevent this situation and find alternative crops for cultivation to reduce paddy farming.
Burning crops directly affects the health of individuals, causing respiratory issues such as coughing, itching of the throat, and difficulty breathing due to hazardous air quality. It is even more hazardous, particularly for individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. To alleviate the effects, people are advised to wear masks, use air purifiers, and avoid being outdoors to prevent exposure to toxic air.
The smog tower in Delhi is not working, and this concerns the authorities' response to the air quality crisis. So, the court ordered them to fix the towers in the city to immediately resolve this situation.
In Delhi, the Air Quality Index (AQI) has reached alarming levels, making it one of the most polluted cities in the world. Schools and construction activities have been suspended until November 10 to protect people from the harmful effects of pollution. The current AQI in Delhi is categorized as "very poor."
The government should act fast to stop crop burning and promote agricultural practices. Farmers can be given incentives to cultivate alternative crops. Every person involved in this should work together to resolve this issue and make the air in Delhi cleaner.
(Input from various media sources.)