Explain land use pattern in India and why has the land under forest not increased much since 1960-61?
The use of land is determined both by physical factors such as topography, climate, soil types as well as human factors such as population density, technological capability and culture and traditions etc. The pattern of the net sown area varies greatly from one state to another. It is over 80 per cent of the total area in Punjab and Haryana and less than 10 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Andaman Nicobar Islands. Forest area in the country is far lower than the desired 33 per cent of geographical area, as it was outlined in the National Forest Policy (1952). It was considered essential for the maintenance of the ecological balance. A part of the land is termed as wasteland and land put to other non-agricultural uses. Wasteland includes rocky, arid and desert areas and land put to other non-agricultural uses includes settlements, roads, railways, industry etc. Continuous use of land over a long period of time without taking appropriate measures to conserve and manage it has resulted in land degradation.
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