Soil erosionl

Real-time Monitoring of Paddy Residue Burning in North India during 2018 using Satellite Remote Sensing

               Paddy residue burning is practiced in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (UP) after crop harvest. During 2018, a Central scheme was implemented in these states by providing subsidy to farmers’ to provide suitable machinery and other interventions, coordinated through State Agriculture Departments. Under NICRA, the CREAMS lab of Division of Agricultural Physics undertook spatio-temporal monitoring of the active fires due to paddy residue burning real- time for all the three states from 1- Oct to 30-Nov 2018 on daily basis. The comparison of 2018 events was made with the events during 2017 and 2016 for evaluating the success of intervention policies. Thermal images from seven satellites acquired at the IARI satellite ground station were used for the detection of fires for both day and night passes. Daily bulletin of fire events were prepared and their locations were put on CREAMS Geoportal ( for visualization as maps. Total paddy area burnt was also estimated for Punjab and Haryana using Sentinel-2A satellite imageries.

         Analysis showed continuing practice of residue burning with a total of 75,563 burning events from 1-Oct to 30-Nov, distributed as 59695, 9232 and 6636 among Punjab, Haryana and UP, respectively. Maximum burning occurred between 28-Oct and 10-Nov in the three states. Significant reduction of 15% and 41% in fire events was observed in 2018 than in 2017 and 2016, respectively. District-wise analysis of 2018 data showed that maximum burning events occurred in Sangrur and Bathinda in Punjab; Fatehabad and Sirsa in Haryana; and Mathura and Maharajganj in UP. District-wise distribution showed that the success of policy interventions varied widely with some districts showing more than 50% reduction while other showed increased burning. The monitoring bulletin and burnt area statistics were regularly used by central government to check the efficacy of their scheme at weekly interval.

(Source: NICRA-IARI-CESCRA, New Delhi)












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