Land Use Planning and Management:
People see land everywhere and get an impression that plenty of it is available. Besides, they do not care how it is being used, unless of course, it is their own property. Lack of concern on the part of the public and official agencies has led to widespread erosion. soil sickness and other damage to land resources. Land is an exhaustible resource and is very sensitive to changes in climate and physical processes in nature like rain, sunshine, vegetation, erosion, land slides etc.
Land should be used according to its suitability and capability. As you have studied in earlier sections, suitability and capability of land is assessed in terms of its load bearing ability and fertility. Since food for an increasing population requires more land for cultivation, the encroachment of fertilsagricultural lands for non-agricultural purposes like construction of roads and buildings should be reduced to the minimum.
Extreme care should Se taken in selecting sites for development of industries, construction of dams and water reservoirs etc., so that the environment and socio-economic conditions of the people living in that area are not disturbed. In locating sites for the development of urban centres, the need for housing, water supply, disposal of waste and garbage etc. should be taken into consideration. Hill areas, as far as possible, should be put under forest cover because forests serve as a resource for fuel, fodder, and timber, and provide space for animal farming. Besides, forests help in increasing the ground water, since they impede the free surface run- off, thus allowing water to be absorbed by the ground. In this process, soil erosion is minimised and flooding can be avoided. Forests help to maintain a balance in the ecosystem, that is, among animals, plants, air and water etc.