Nov. 8, 2019

While Delhi has been choking for the last few days, as it usually does every year during this time, Chandigarh, located right in the heart of the stubble-burning zone, has had relatively clean air.


  • If stubble-burning is the major reason for Delhi’s terrible air, why is it that the smoke from the burning fields has left Chandigarh alone? This is because of its geographical location and the direction of wind that blows during this season.

  • Chandigarh lies almost directly north of Delhi, while the wind, coming from across the border over Lahore, blows from northwest towards southeast.

  • This is the same corridor that the moisture-laden western disturbance also takes. Chandigarh sometimes sits on the edges of this corridor, or just outside of it.

  • Also, most of the stubble burning happens in the area that lies between the latitudes of Delhi and Chandigarh. It is the wind that brings the smoke from agriculture burning to Delhi. The wind is directed towards Delhi, and not towards Chandigarh.

  • In this region, wind predominantly blows from north-west to east for most of the year but more so in the winters, carrying along with it pollutants generated elsewhere. Even the pollutants found over Delhi are not all generated in Delhi, but transported from other places.