MONITORING THE SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF DEGRADED LANDS IN SIRSA DISTRICT
In this paper, study on monitoring of kind, extent and degree of severity of degraded lands was conducted in Sirsa district (29.53° N 75.02° E) of north western Haryana with the help of geo-spatial techniques. Efforts have been made to identify and map the degraded lands of the district on 1 : 50.000 scale using LANDSAT TM (1995) and IRS LISS-III (1A/B FCC; 2005–06 and 2015–16) satellite imagery. The area under various degraded land categories was computed for different seasons which reveal that wind erosion was major cause of soil degradation problem in the district since 1995. The area under degradation due to wind erosion was followed by water logging, anthropogenic activities and salinisation. Although the area occupied by anthropogenic activities was found to be low but their impact on environment is long term than naturally degraded soils. A significant decline is observed in all the degradation classes (except brick kilns) in successive years but however, water logging (permanent) shows increasing trend in 2005–06 and then decline in 2015–16. The reasons have been sorted out to explain the changing dynamics of degradation. The district was found to be degraded by various categories of land degradation subjected to slight to moderate degradation. The degraded lands have shown sharp decline from 28.4% in 1995 to 6.22% in 2015–16 of total geographical area of the district.