Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday released the Wastelands Atlas-2019. The document has been published by the department of land resources of the rural development ministry in collaboration with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of the department of space.
The fifth edition of the document was released keeping in mind the importance of readily available reliable database on the wastelands of the country.
The first four editions had been released in 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2011. Wastelands Atlas-2019 provides district and state-wise distribution of different categories of wastelands area, including mapping of about 12.08 Mha hitherto unmapped area of Jammu and Kashmir.
The changes in wastelands between 2008-09 and 2015-16 have been presented in the document. The effort has resulted in estimating the spatial extent of wastelands for the entire country to the tune of 55.76 Mha (16.96 per cent of the geographical area of the country) for 2015-16 as compared to 56.60 Mha (17.21 per cent) in 2008-09.
According to the document, India has 2.4 per cent of the world’s total land area and supports 18 per cent of the world’s population.