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Status of Wasteland in India

The status of wastelands in India between 1986-2000 and 2003 is highlighted in Table 1. During 1986-2000, 6.38 lakh square KMs of land was categorised as total wasteland. This fell by 2.71 per cent by 2003. As can be seen from the Table, there were 5.52 lakh square KMs of land which required treatment to become productive. While wastelands under the category of sands (either in the coastal region or inland), shifting cultivation, degraded notified forestland witnessed a sharp fall, the wastelands in the category of mining and industrial and steep sloping areas increased.

Table 1. Wastelands of India (1986-2000 to 2003)

S.N

Category Wastelands (sq.km)

(Area Change in Waste land 1986-2003 (per cent)

1986-2000

2003

1

Guilled and/or Ravenous land

20,553.35

19,039.34

-0.05

2

Land with or without scrub

194,014.29

187,949.49

-0.19

3

Waterlogged and Marshy land

16,568.45

9,744.97

-0.22

4

Land affected by salinity/ alkalinity-coastal/inland

20,477.38

12,024.05

-0.27

5

Shifting Cultivation Area

3,5142.2

18,765.86

-0.52

6

Under utilised/degraded notified forest land

140,652.31

126,551.81

-0.45

7

Degraded pastures/grazing land

25,978.91

1,9344.3

-0.21

8

Degraded land under plantation

5,828.09

2,138.24

-0.12

9

Sands-Inland/Coastal

50,021.65

3,3984.2

-0.51

10

Mining/Industrial wastelands

1,252.13

1,977.35

-0.02

11

Barren rocky/stony waste/sheet rock area

64,584.77

57,747.11

-0.22

12

Steep sloping area

7,656.29

9,097.38

0.05

13

Snow covered and/or glacial area

55,788.49

54,328.16

-0.05

Total Wasteland Area

638.518.31

552,692.26

-2.71

Source : Dept. of Land Resources, M/o Rural Development, GoI (www.dolr.nic.in)

 
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