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Cases of stubble burning continue in Punjab, Haryana, finds review by Cab Secy

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: November 5, 2019  | 21:21 IST

New Delhi, Nov 5 (PTI) As people in Delhi and surrounding areas continue to breath toxic air, a review of air pollution in north India by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Tuesday found that crop stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana still continues. The states have been asked to take violators to task by imposing penalties. During the daily review, "it was observed that the cases of crop stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana still continues and that there is a need for more focussed action", a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said. The states have now been directed that more monitoring teams should be deployed on the field to ensure that the "violators are taken to task by imposing suitable penalties", it said. The situation in the national capital where different agencies are coordinating was also discussed and it was felt that there was a need for enhanced efforts to control the situation. The states have also been directed to ensure that they are fully prepared for meeting any exigency in the future, it said. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to discuss the pollution situation in northern India. "PM Narendra Modi chaired a meeting in which the situation arising due to pollution in various parts of northern India was discussed," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted. The meet on pollution comes after back-to-back review meetings held by P K Mishra, the principal secretary to the prime minister, with top officials of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana on Sunday and Monday. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi's air quality index dropped from 365 at 9.45 am to 331 at 3.45 pm on Tuesday. In the National Capital Region, Greater Noida (348), Noida (358), Ghaziabad (351), Faridabad (311) and Gurgaon (328) also recorded improvement in air quality. An AQI between 0-50 is considered 'good', 51-100 'satisfactory', 101-200 'moderate', 201-300 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'. An AQI above 500 falls in the 'severe plus' category. PTI NAB ZMN

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