Land Resources in India

Resources which are available on land are called land resources. Land resources includes natural vegetation, wild life, human life, economic activities, transport and communication. Moreover, most of our basic needs like food clothing and shelter comes from land. Therefore, careful use of land is necessary.

Land Resources in India

In India, Land resources includes 43% of plains, 30 % of mountains and 27% of plateaus. Most of plains consist of agricultural land and industries, Mountains provides spot for tourism and perennial flow of rivers. Plateaus are rich source of minerals, fuels and forests.

Utilisation of Land Resources in India

Land resource in India is classified into forests, lands not available for cultivation, fallow land, agricultural lands, etc.

  • Forests: In India around 22.8 % of land is covered with forests.
  • Land not available for cultivation: Barren and wasteland for example, rocky, arid, deserts, etc covers 8.61 % of land. Moreover, land for non agriculture uses like building, roads, factories and settlements, etc takes upto 5.57%. Also, the, other uncultivated lands mainly consist of Permanent pastures and grazing land which takes up 3.38%; Land under miscellaneous tree crops groves which is 1.11% and culturable waste land which is 4.17%.
  • Fallow land: Total fallow land in land resources contains 8.13% out of which 4.76% covers the current fallow. Current fallow is land not cultivated from less than one agricultural year. Lands left uncultivated for one to five years contains 3.37%. If fallow lands are cultivated once or twice in 2 to 3 years, and if these are included in NSA then the percentage of NSA in India will be around 54% for that particular area.
  • Net Sown Area (NSA): Area sown more than once in an agricultural year in addition to net sown area or gross cropped area is called net sown area or NSA. Net sown area is available in 46.24% in total land resources in India. States of India like Punjab and Haryana have 80% of net sown area from total area. Whereas, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Andaman Nicobar Islands have less than 10% of net sown area from total area.

Degradation of land resources

In India 130 million hectares of land is degraded. Out of this 56% is water eroded area, 28% is forest degraded area, 6% saline and alkaline deposits and 10% is wind eroded area. States like Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha major cause of land degradation is mining. In Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra overgrazing is the reason for degradation of land resources. In Punjab Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, over irrigation is the responsible for land degradation.
Some other causes of degradation of land resources includes- Continuous use of land for long period without taking appropriate measures to conserve it. Processing of minerals like limestone in industries produces dust, which slows down process of infiltration of water in soil, thereby, degrading the land. Waste materials from industries causes land as well as water pollution.

Preventive Measures

  1. Afforestation
  2. Proper management of grazing or Control on over-grazing
  3. Planting of shelterbelts of plants
  4. Stabilisation of sand dunes by growing thorny bushes
  5. Proper management of waste lands
  6. Control of mining activities
  7. Proper discharge and disposal of industrial effluents and wastes after treatment

Keywords: Utilisation of land resources, Degradation of land resources, Preventive measures of land resources.

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