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According to data from the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), the number of fires in Haryana, Delhi, and the NCR districts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan has decreased by 31.5% this year compared to 2021. The total stubble fire count in these areas was 53,792 this year, down from 78,550 last year. Punjab saw 49,922 fires this year, a 30% decrease from the 71,304 recorded in 2021. Haryana’s reduction was even greater at 47.60%, with 3,661 fires this year compared to 6,987 last year. The NCR districts of Uttar Pradesh saw a 21.43% decline, with 198 fires this year compared to 252 last year.

NASA satellite data was used to determine these fire counts. In Punjab, Sangrur, Bathinda, Moga, Muktsar, and Firozpur accounted for 43% of the total stubble fires. Sangrur had the highest fire count at 5,916. The biggest decrease in fire count was in , where the number more than halved from last year. Bathinda and Fazilka had more fires this year compared to last year, with Bathinda recording 4,592 fires this year compared to 4,481 in 2021.

Burning paddy stubble in Punjab and Haryana to prepare for the rabi crop contributes to winter air pollution in the NCR region from mid-September to late November. While machinery has been provided to help farmers manage stubble, there is still resistance to using it.

In Haryana, Fatehabad, Jind, Kaithal, Sirsa, and Kurukshetra had over 69% of the total fire count. The largest decrease was in Fatehabad, where the number dropped from 1,479 last year to 767 this year. saw 10 fires this year compared to four last year. The CAQM credited the reduction to the combined efforts of the Centre, Punjab government, NCR state governments, and other stakeholders in managing crop residue.

Punjab had 79,093 fires in 2020, 50,738 in 2019, and 59,695 in 2018.

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