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Day 65 – Q 4.Why is land such an important resource? Discuss. Do you think India’s land resources require better planning and management? Substantiate your views.

4. Why is land such an important resource? Discuss. Do you think India’s land resources require better planning and management? Substantiate your views.  

भूमि इतना महत्वपूर्ण संसाधन क्यों है? चर्चा करें। क्या आपको लगता है कि भारत के भूमि संसाधनों को बेहतर योजना और प्रबंधन की आवश्यकता है? अपने विचारों की पुष्टि करें।


Land is an essential natural resource, both for the survival and prosperity of humanity, and for the maintenance of all terrestrial ecosystems.

Land and Land Resources refer to a delineable area of the earth’s terrestrial surface, encompassing all attributes of the biosphere immediately above or below this surface, including those of the near-surface climate, the soil and terrain forms, the surface hydrology (including shallow lakes, rivers, marshes and swamps), the near-surface sedimentary layers and associated groundwater and geohydrological reserve, the plant and animal populations, the human settlement pattern and physical results of past and present human activity (terracing, water storage or drainage structures, roads, buildings, etc.).


Land is not regarded simply in terms of soils and surface topography, but encompasses such features as underlying superficial deposits, climate and water resources, and also the plant and animal communities which have developed as a result of the interaction of these physical conditions.


Land is such an important resource because of following reasons – 

  • a store of wealth for individuals, groups, or a community
  • production of food, fibre, fuel or other biotic materials for human use
  • provision of biological habitats for plants, animals and micro-organisms
  • co-determinant in the global energy balance and the global hydrological cycle, which provides both a source and a sink for greenhouse gases
  • regulation of the storage and flow of surface water and groundwater
  • storehouse of minerals and raw materials for human use
  • a buffer, filter or modifier for chemical pollutants
  • provision of physical space for settlements, industry and recreation
  • Storage and protection of evidence from the historical or pre-historical record (fossils, evidence of past climates, archaeological remains, etc.)
  • enabling or hampering movement of animals, plants and people between one area and another

India’s land resources require better planning and management

  • India today is facing a critical situation in relation to land – use planning. Even though the foodgrain production recorded almost a fourfold increase in the post-independence decades, shortage of rice, pulses and oilseeds is growing. Shortages of pasturelands, firewood and fast depletion of the forest wealth are assuming serious proportions.
  • As a consequence of various development endeavors ecological imbalances e.g. soil erosion, rapid situation of dams, shortage of ground water, land and water pollution, water logging etc. are growing adversely affecting the agricultural productivity.
  • The non-sustainable nature of the green revolution, white revolution technology and the fast depletion of natural resource base needs serious cognizance of the problems of planning and management of country’s natural resources.
  • Relaxation of restrictions on conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses, and ceiling on agricultural land holdings. This is resulting in a large-scale transfer of lands for speculative purpose, distorting the land market and viability of agriculture.
  • Promotion of export-oriented agriculture and concessions to agro-processing companies. This is leading to diversion of land peasant farming and exhaustion of soils, mining of water resources due to chemical-input intensive cultivation.
  • Invasion of Coastal Lands through measures like Coastal Regulation Zone 2018 to promote tourism and affordable housing.
  • Aarey forest protest against Mumbai metro project; opposition from certain state against declaring Western Ghat as Ecologically Sensitive Area requires careful planning. 
  • For the success of smart city projects, to provide congestion-free and pollution-free urban space, to promote city foresty, planning and management of land resource is crucial. 


Unless special efforts are made towards preservation of the land, water and vegetative resources of the country and its long term sustainable use is planned, the food grains and other basic needs of the country’s population cannot be met, food security and self-reliance cannot be assured and enhanced livelihood security to the oiling millions in India cannot be ensured.

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