The Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC) is using satellite data and SMS services to help enforcement agencies to crackdown on people resorting to stubble burning in the state. "The crop fire-alert system has been made operational for the current season.
The HARSAC has been using data from satellites to identify active fire points on a daily basis," Principal Secretary of the Haryana Science and Technology Department, Ashok Khemka, said today. "Though the state government has made stubble-burning a punishable offence, the conviction rate has been very poor due to the lack of timely information," he said. The "crop fire locations" -- farms in which stubble burning is taking place -- are received from satellites and are sent officials at the district and state levels through SMS, Khemka said. "The crop fire map indicates the locations and by clicking it, the latitude and longitudes of the point are indicated to enable the enforcement agencies to reach the exact location," he said. During the current harvesting season, the HARSAC has observed about 4,300 major crop fire points in the entire state, the officer said. "Satellites have spotted more than 600 crop burning points in Karnal district, 534 in Sonepat, 501 in Jind, 335 in Sirsa, 324 in Fatehabad, 319 in Panipat, 267 in Kaithal, 256 in Rohtak, 240 in Hisar and 211 in Jhajjar in this harvesting season," he said. Khemka said 100 to 200 points have been located in Ambala, Bhiwani and Kurukshetra districts, and less than 100 locations in other districts. Stubble burning during the rabi and the kharif seasons has emerged as a menace, causing severe environmental problems in Punjab, Haryana and in the national capital region.