Resources and Development
The process of resource planning involves following:
- Identification and Inventory of Resources: Survey, mapping, quantitative estimate and measurement.
- Building a Planning Structure: Proper technology, skill and institutional setup
- Matching Resource Development Plant with National Development Plan
Land is one of the most important natural resources. Land supports our life system. Thus, careful planning of use of land resource is necessary. India comprises of many types of land. These are mountains, plateau, plains and islands.
Mountains: About 30% of land area in India is in the form of mountain. Mountain supports the perennial flow of rivers, which carry fertile soils, facilitate irrigation and provide drinking water. Mountains are good avenues for tourism and adventure sports and can help in revenue generation.
Plains: About 43% of land area in India is in the form of plains. Plains provide facilities for agriculture, building of industries and houses, etc.
Plateau: About 27% of land in India is in the form of plateau which provides many types of minerals, fossil fuels and forest.
Patterns of use of Land Resources
- Land not available for cultivation: There are two types of land which are not used for agriculture purpose. These are:
- Barren and waste land
- Lands used for buildings, roads, factories, etc. i.e for non-agriculture purpose.
- Other uncultivated land (excluding fallow land)
- Permanent pastures and grazing land,
- Land under miscellaneous tree crops groves (not included in net sown area),
- Culturable waste land (left uncultivated for more than 5 agricultural years).
- Fallow lands
- Current fallow-(left without cultivation for one or less than one agricultural year),
- Other than current fallow-(left uncultivated for the past 1 to 5 agricultural years).
- Net sown area: Area which is sown at least once in a year is called net sown area.
- Gross cropped area: Area sown more than once in an agricultural year plus net sown area is known as gross cropped area.
Land Use Pattern in India:
- Pattern of land use depends on both physical and human factors. Physical factors include climate, topography, type of soil, etc. Human factors include population, technology, skill, population density, tradition, capability, etc.
- Let us have a closer look at the pie chart. This shows that net sown area is about 44% of the total land available. If we include fallow (4%) and current fallow (7%) to this, then about 54% of the land is under farming or related activities. Quality of wasteland is too poor to be converted into cultivable land. Moreover, the pattern of net sown area varies from one state to another. It is very high in Punjab but very low in hilly states.
- The area under forest is about 23% which is way below the 33% mark as specified by the National Forest Policy (1952). There are various reasons for this, e.g. illegal deforestation, construction of roads and buildings, pressure of human population, etc.
This pie chart shows the area of degraded land (130 million hectare). Out of this, 56% is degraded by water and 28% if forest degraded area. Some of the major causes of land degradation are: overgrazing, mining, deforestation, division of land in small plots because of family feuds, etc.
Measures to Conserve the Land Resources:
Degradation of land can be prevented by taking following measures:
- Proper management of grazing.
- Stabilisation of sand dunes by plantation of thorny bushes.
- Proper management of waste lands.
- By proper irrigation.
- By proper harvesting.
- Control over mining activities.
- Proper management of land after completion of mining work.
- Discharge of industrial waste and effluents only after proper treatment.
- Plantation of trees along the road sides.
- By preventing deforestation.
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