B Strategy Waste and Dry Land Development

Wasteland Development in Andhra Pradesh

B. Chandra Sekhar & Prof. K. Govindappa

The term ''Wasteland in common usage means degraded unutilized, uncultivated and common land''.

However, different departments at present define the wasteland according to their land use pattern.

Agricultural land lying fallow for more than two years can be treated as agricultural wastelands.

Lands under the control of Revenue department not fit for agriculture lying barren can be termed as Revenue wastelands.

Similarly, the grasslands and lands under the control of Forest Department; which do not have tree cover can be termed as Forest wasteland.

Although, there is no common definition of wasteland, it is clear that, wastelands are the areas, which are under utilised, and which produce less than 20% of its biological productivity. Other areas, which are generally included in the wastelands are, saline and alkaline soils, waterlogged areas, common grazing lands, Panchayat lands, land lying vacant along railway lines, roads, canals, denuded and barren rocky hills, ravine lands, flood plains land infested with thick weeds, and lands lying vacant in the towns, cities and residential colonies.

The wastelands are ecological unstable. These lands have been subjected to different degrees of biotic or ecological interference, as a result, rendering them, degraded, infertile, and un-cultivable. After extensive discussions, with different departments the National Wasteland Development Board (NWDB) defined wastelands, ''that land which is degraded and presently lying unutilized (except as current fallow) due to different constraints''. NWDB also suggested that any land, which is not producing green biomass, comparable with the status of the soil, and water, must be treated as wasteland. Wastelands can be divided into cultivable wastelands and uncultivable wastelands. Cultivable wastelands comprise gullies or ravenous lands, undulating upland surface, water logged marshy areas, salt affected lands, shifting cultivation areas, degraded forest land, sandy area, mining, industrial areas, pastures, grazing lands. Uncultivable wastelands comprise barren rocky areas and steep slopes.

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