TN lost 16L hectares in net sown area, govt plans new land policy
A draft land use policy framed in 2004 lapsed after 15 years in 2019.
CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu has lost nearly 16,17,000 hectares of its net sown area over the past 45 years, shows a study on “land use pattern and future changes in climate over Tamil Nadu till 2050 and its impact on selected crops” carried out by the State Land Use Research Board.
The study also shows that the proportion of net sown area in the state’s total geographic area has declined from 48% to 36%.
The state government has now embarked on drafting a new land use policy as a pattern of land use in Tamil Nadu has undergone tremendous transformation over the past few decades due to urbanisation and industrialisation. A draft land use policy framed in 2004 lapsed after 15 years in 2019.
The land use study, funded by the State Planning Commission, also showed that the use of land for non-agricultural purposes went up from 15,01,000 hectares in 1971 to 22,00,000 hectares in 2015-16. Sources said the state intends to create a new land use policy to prevent further deterioration of land resources through appropriate preventive measures and to revive degraded lands through sustainable practices.
The per capita land availability in Tamil Nadu is 0.18 hectares and the per capita net sown area is 0.07 hectares. Natural disasters have necessitated enhanced use of spatial land use planning as a tool for guided development compared to ad-hoc allocation of land for projects, sources said.
New policy will pay attention to ecosystems
Such an approach would lead to better economic returns, social cohesion, social justice and environmental balance, sources said. The new policy aims to provide a strategic framework to conserve land resources and accommodate development patterns that are inclusive and offer integration of environmental, economic, and social development initiatives at all levels of governance leading to sustainable growth and development.
Sources said unnecessary pooling of land into land banks can be avoided and all land banks will be directly linked to development zones. However, new land banks will not be created with the sole objective of creating development zones, sources said. Under the new policy, attention will be paid to existing natural ecosystems and resources while converting land to industrial corridors to ensure that fragile ecosystems are not put under strain.