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Land use Patterns


The following are the land use patterns found in India:

  1. Forests
  2. Land not available for cultivation
  • Barren and waste land
  • Land not utilized for non-agricultural use
  1. Other cultivated land (excluding fallow land)
  • Permanent pastures
  • Land under miscellaneous tree crops
  • Cultivable waste
  1. Fallow lands
  • Current fallow
  • Other than current fallow
  1. Net sown area
  • Land use is determined by physical factors such as topography, climate, soil types as well as human factors such as population density, technological capability and culture and traditions.

As per the National Forest Policy (1952), the desired geographical area under forest is 33 per cent and the current area is much lesser.

Reasons for Degradation of Land

  • Human activities such as deforestation, over-grazing, mining and quarrying contributed to land degradation.
  • Abandoned mining sites after excavation.
  • Over-irrigation leads to water logging which has resulted in salinity and alkalinity in soil. This is a major reason of degradation in Punjab and Haryana.
  • Grinding of limestone for cement industry, calcite and soapstone for ceramic industry generates huge quantities of dust which retards the process of infiltration of water into soil.
  • Industrial effluents as waste are major source of land and water pollution.

Suggested Remedial Measures to Prevent Land Degradation

  • Afforestation.
  • Proper management of grazing.
  • Planting shelter belts of plants.
  • Control on overgrazing.
  • Stabilisation of sand dunes by thorny bushes.
  • Control of mining activities.
  • Proper discharge and disposal of industrial effluents and waste after treatment.

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