Do you know, India is the 7th largest country in the World, with a total land area of 3,287,263 square kilometres (1,269,219 sq mi). Out of the total land area of India, 1.5 million square kilometer is uncultivated and 0.9 million square kilometer (nearly 27%) is categorized as wasteland. One of the major problems we have in India is of a large population mainly concentrated in some major cities. Population density of India is 324 per square kilometer, distributed unevenly across the country, with Delhi’s density of 9340 and that of Arunachal Pradesh as 17. Take a look at population density map.
Why are we progressing only in metropolitans? Let’s take an example of Common Wealth Games. Had we planned to organize it in some other state, like Arunachal Pradesh or Rajasthan, we could have provided a lot of opportunities to its people by allocating money to develop infrastructure and promoted it as a tourist spot. More importantly, we could have utilized the vast wasteland in those areas.
The metropolitans are flooded by farmers who eventually take up small jobs like driving an auto rickshaw, working as domestic helps or as a cheap labor in factories. Why are they forced to leave their native lands? Why can we not create job opportunities at their native places? Why are they forced to give up farming? Is it because of poor health facilities, sanitation and electricity? Why is the wasteland still growing at the rate of 9%? Why is agriculture growing at 1 % while manufacturing growing at 7%? Why are we not taking steps to help the villagers pursue farming and convert waste lands into irrigational land, by using latest techniques?
In my opinion, we can first target to improve the land by creating water bodies such as reservoirs, ponds so that nearby land can be irrigated. This will help in creation of planned habitats free from pollution and provide facilities such as clean water, sanitation, green surrounding, hospitals, educational institutions etc. We can develop solar farms and wind energy farms, if land is in acres, with government giving incentives to the builders who take such initiatives. Creation of industries in such regions will not only provide employment to the locals, but will also lure talent from throughout the country to take benefits from the opportunities. More talent and better salaries will automatically benefit the housing and hotel projects in that area which in turn will generate more employment opportunities.
These hitherto unused parts of motherland can be brought to good use without any doubt. I strongly feel that, if we can utilize the wastelands, we can curb many evils that haunt India and stand in the way of its transition from a developing to a developed country.