A survey by the Punjab remote sensing department through satellite remote sensing technology states that a total of 62,042 acres has been affected due to the recent floods in Fazilka, Ferozpur, Kapurthala, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur districts.
The flooded area comprises 7,156 acres in Fazilka district, 17,270 acres in Firozpur district, 10,541 acres in Tarn Taran district, 14,403 acres in Kapurthala district and 12,671 acres in Gurdaspur district.
The flood has affected more than 500 villages in these districts, says the survey. The flood inundation layer was also integrated with the agricultural layer to ascertain the crop area affected. This combined map showed that 49,008 acres of cropland has been affected due to overflowing water. The area includes 6,239 acres in Fazilka, 14,443 acres in Firozpur, 8,512 acres in Tarn Taran, 8,566 acres in Kapurthala and 11,249 acres in Gurdaspur.
A team of scientists of Punjab Remote Sensing Centre comprising Dr R K Setia, S K Sahoo, Avinash Prasad and Vivek Singh under the supervision of Dr. B Pateriya, director, and in collaboration with the team of National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad, mapped the flood-affected areas using IRS Resourcesat-2 .
The scientists said that remote sensing technology is more efficient and effective compared to ground-based methods to map the actual flood-inundated areas. Satellite remote sensing technology helps to provide expeditious and accurate information about the spatial extent of floods. This technique gives information of flood-inundated areas which is useful for long-term planning.
Earlier, the authorities had to depend on conventional ground-based surveys for assessing areas affected by floods, which were arduous and time consuming.
They reported that incessant rain and overflowing waters of the Sutlej had inundated several villages in these districts. The flood inundation districts with less than 1,000 hectares were not included in the mapping.
The morphology of a river system and the increasing human population encroaching and modifying the floodplains of the river system contribute to the increasing damages and risks caused by floods, said Dr Setia.