Resourceful ministry

Published: Thursday 15 June 1995

Finding itself without any resources, the wasteland development department of the reconstituted ministry of rural areas and employment (previously the ministry of rural development) has hit upon an intelligent idea of involving the corporate sector to invest in wasteland development.

Meetings with various industrial heads have yielded a positive response, though with certain provisos attached to it, like the availability of land, concessional finance and technology. The developed wastelands can be put to sustainable land use.

The total wasteland area in the country is estimated to be 129.58 million hectares. An alarming increase in the wasteland area, especially those lying in non-forest lands is due to indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources, which has led to soil erosion and degradation of land.

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