What are the causes of land degradation? What are the ways to solve this problem?
Causes of land degradation:
- Mining sites are abandoned after the excavation work is done, Reaving deep scars of overburdening. In states like Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, deforestation due to mining has caused severe land degradation.
- Overgrazing in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra is one of the main reasons behind land degradation.
- Overirrigation and waterlogging lead to increase in salinity and alkalinity in the states of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, thereby leading to land degradation.
- Mineral processing like grinding of limestone for cement industry and calcite and soapstone for ceremic industry generate huge quantities of dust in the atmosphere. It stops the infiltration of water in the soil.
- Industrial effluents as wastes have become a major source of land and water pollution in many parts of the country.
Ways to check land degradation:
- Afforestation and proper management of grazing can help to check land degradation.
- Planting of shelter belts help in checking the sand causing land degradation near the deserts.
- Overgrazing can be checked and avoided.
- Stabilisation of sand dunes by growing thorny bushes can also check land degradation.
- Proper management of waste land can be taken up.
- Control on mining activities, so that mining does not affect the land and by refilling the scars.
- Proper discharge and disposal of industrial effluents and wastes after treatment can reduce land and water degradation in industrial areas.