Come winter, and the air quality in northern India begins to deteriorate. A thick blanket of smog (mixture of smoke and fog) engulfs the National Capital Region which reduces visibility and gives a tough time to commuters.

A major reason for the poor air quality is the burning of paddy stubble by farmers in Punjab and Haryana. This practice comes in handy for farmers as they prepare their fields for sowing Rabi crops. However, the thick smoke which emanates as a result of setting fields on fire poses serious health hazards for people. Burning fields also affects the quality of the soil, robbing it of vital nutrients. The smoke contains toxic chemicals which causes respiratory problems and other diseases.