With the approaching winter comes memories of pollution choked Delhi—a thick pallor of smoke that almost shuts out the sun, with wheezing, sneezing, suffocating residents cowering under the miasma. And, as in past years, farmers of Punjab and Haryana have started burning paddy stubble—the main culprit—to get rid of farm waste.
Twelve cases of burning were reported from Haryana and 10 in Punjab in recent days, despite tough directives from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to stop the practice, and bolstered by measures by the Centre and the governments of the states to put a cap to it.
“We anticipate those days with dread,” says Navdeep Kaur who lives in Delhi and hails from a farming family in Amritsar. She says her brothers resort to burning as they have no alternative. “I can’t blame farmers and don’t want my family to suffer,” she admits.