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Wrong to blame farmers for bad air quality: Punjab, Haryana officials

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Chandigarh, October 31:  Pollution control board officials of Punjab and Haryana have said farmers are being wrongly blamed for the bad air quality in Delhi. They said that in cities near fields where crop residue is being burnt, the air is less polluted than the national capital’s.

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Contrary to findings of the Centre’s pollution-monitoring body Safar, officials in the two states said pollution was under control although air quality had plummeted in areas bordering Delhi, implying that the capital may be contaminating Haryana’s air, not the other way round.

“The air quality has not deteriorated in cities across Haryana and especially in the rice belt districts of Karnal, Kurukshetra and Kaithal, known for being hotbeds of stubble burning,” member secretary of Haryana Pollution Control Board S Narayanan said. He said air quality had nosedived in districts of Gurgaon and Faridabad.

“The cause for higher pollution in the two districts could be local or impact of Delhi,” he said, adding also that incidents of field fires had come down by 30-40% from last year. Punjab Pollution Control Board member secretary Karunesh Garg said the state’s air was : cleaner than that of Delhi.

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