New Delhi, (PTI): Not only have the number of farm fires in Punjab and Haryana this season been the lowest since 2016, the national capital also witnessed the least smoke intrusion from stubble burning during October-November in four years, according to a Centre for Science and Environment analysis.

Analysis of data from SAFAR, the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality forecasting agency, shows that smoke from farm fires contributed to PM2.5 pollution in Delhi on 53 days this year, starting October 12.

The figure is lower than the previous three years when smoke intrusion was reported on 56-57 days but higher than the 2018 reading of 48 days.

The highest contribution this year was 34 per cent on November 3. Last year, the share of farm fires in Delhi's PM 2.5 pollution peaked to 48 per cent on November 7.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said stubble burning-related smokefall over Delhi depended on two major factors -- the number and intensity of farm fires and meteorological conditions conducive for the transportation of the smoke to the national capital.

This October-November, not only have the quantity and intensity of farm fires been comparatively lower but also the meteorological conditions less conducive for transport of the smoke, the green think tank said.

The CSE estimated that smoke from farm fires accounted for 4.1 tonnes of PM2.5 during October-November in Delhi. This is 37 per cent lower than 6.4 tonnes of PM2.5 from stubble burning last year and almost half the 2020 figure (8 tonnes).

The volume this year is also significantly lower than the 2019 figure (6.4 tonnes) -- an indicator of the meteorological help Delhi got as there were fewer farm fires in 2019.

According to the Indian Agriculture Research Institute, Punjab, which accounts for the maximum cases of stubble burning every year, reported just 49,922 farm fires this season (September 15 to November 30) against 71,304 last year and 83,002 in 2020.

The agrarian state logged 50,738 incidents of stubble burning in 2019; 59,684 in 2018; 67,079 in 2017 and 1,02,379 in 2016.

Haryana logged 3,661 farm fires this season against 6,987 in 2021 and 4,202 in 2020. The neighbouring state saw 6,364 incidents of stubble burning in 2019; 9,225 in 2018; 13,085 in 2017 and 15,686 in 2016.

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New Delhi (PTI): The BJP on Friday moved the Supreme Court, challenging a Calcutta High Court order that refused to interfere with a single-judge verdict directing the party not to publish any advertisement violating the Model Code of Conduct during the Lok Sabha election process.

The matter was mentioned for urgent listing before a vacation bench of Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice Pankaj Mithal.

Advocate Saurabh Mishra, who mentioned the matter, told the bench that a division bench of the high court passed the order on May 22.

"Why don't you move the next vacation bench?," the bench asked.

The counsel told the bench that the high court has restrained the BJP from issuing advertisements during the Lok Sabha polls till June 4.

"Kindly have it on Monday (May 27)," the lawyer requested the bench.

"We will see," the bench said.

On May 22, a Calcutta High Court division bench refused to interfere with a single-judge order in the matter.

Observing that a "laxman rekha" should be adhered to, the division bench had said there should not be any personal attack on the part of any political party.

Refusing to interfere with the May 20 order of the single judge, the division bench had said the BJP could move the single judge, seeking a review or recall of its order.

The BJP had moved the appeal before the division bench, claiming that the single judge passed the order without giving it any hearing.

The party's counsel had also stated that the Constitution provided that the Election Commission was the appropriate authority for redress in case of any dispute during a poll process.

The high court on May 20 issued an injunction, restraining the BJP from publishing advertisements that violated the Model Code of Conduct until June 4, the day the Lok Sabha election process ends.

The court also restrained the BJP from publishing advertisements mentioned by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in its petition, claiming unverified allegations against it and its workers.