Amid rising cases of stubble burning and more people reporting problems in breathing, the Health Department has decided to find out, if there is any, the correlation between the two.

This is the first time that the government is conducting such a scientific study to see the extent of impact of stubble burning on human health. The department has already earmarked 11 hospitals in the state where officials would study the spike in the number of patients reporting breathing distress and the extent of stubble burning in the respective area.

The initiative is being taken under the National Programme for Climate Change and Human Health. The department has formed a district environmental task force in 10 districts.

As per the Crop Residue Burning (CRB) Information and Management System, the state has already reported 2,446 incidents of stubble burning until October 18.

Nodal officer Dr Sumeet Singh said: “If the air quality worsens, we will advise the administration to take preventive measures after analysing the increase in the patient count. We have been holding meetings with other stakeholders to monitor the impact of stubble burning on human health.”

He said the vulnerable population would be advised to avoid outdoor activities, especially during morning and evening, if the air quality index was between 200 and 300.

Source: 26 October, 2021, The Tribune