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Wastelands Atlas - 2019

  • Category
  • Published
    12th Nov, 2019

The Union Minister for Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare & Panchayati Raj has recently released the Wastelands Atlas – 2019.


  • The Union Minister for Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare & Panchayati Raj has recently released the Wastelands Atlas – 2019.


Wasteland Atlas:

  • The wasteland mapping exercise is carried out by National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Department of Space using the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRSS) data.
  • The atlas is then jointly published by The Department of Land Resources (Ministry of Rural Development) and National Remote Sensing Centre.
  • The Wastelands Atlas – 2019 is the fifth edition of all atlases. The previous editions released were in 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2011.

Need of Wasteland atlas:

  • India with 2.4% of total land area of the World is supporting 18% of the World’s population. The per capita availability of agriculture land in India is 0.12 ha whereas World per capita agriculture land is 0.29 ha.
  • Unprecedented pressure on the land beyond its carrying capacity is resulting into degradation of lands in the Country.
  • Therefore, robust geospatial information on wastelands assumes significance and effectively helpful in rolling back the wastelands for productive use through various land development programmes.

Findings of Wastelands Atlas - 2019:

  • The changes in wastelands between 2008-09 and 2015-16 have been presented in this Atlas. The effort has resulted in estimating the spatial extent of wastelands for entire country to the tune of 55.76 Mha (16.96 % of geographical area of the Country) for the year 2015-16 as compared to 56.60 Mha (17.21%) in the year 2008-09.
  • During this period 1.45 Mha of wastelands are converted into non wastelands categories. There is a net conversion of 0.84 Mha (0.26%) of different wasteland categories in the country during 2008-09 to 2015-16.
  • A reduction in wasteland area was observed in the categories of land with dense scrub, waterlogged and marshy land, sandy areas, degraded pastures (grazing land) and gullied and ravinous land.
  • It provides district and state wise distribution of different categories of wastelands area including mapping of about 12.08 Mha hitherto unmapped area of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The wastelands have undergone positive change in the states of Rajasthan (0.48 Mha), Bihar (0.11 Mha), Uttar Pradesh (0.10 Mha), Andhra Pradesh (0.08 Mha), Mizoram (0.057 Mha), Madhya Pradesh (0.039 Mha), Jammu & Kashmir (0.038 Mha) and West Bengal (0.032 Mha).
  • Majority of wastelands have been changed into categories of ‘croplands’ (0.64 Mha), ‘forest-dense / open’ (0.28 Mha), ‘forest plantation’ (0.029 Mha), ‘plantation’ (0.057 Mha) and ‘industrial area’ (0.035 Mha).

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