In which of the following regions gully erosion is found commonly?
A. Kutch basin
B. Saurashtra basin
C. Chambal basin
D. Southern Plateau
The occurrence of gully erosion is widespread in several Indian states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, and Rajasthan, and it can be attributed to a range of factors such as high-intensity rainfall, erodible soil, overgrazing, loss of vegetation, natural upliftment of highlands, and inappropriate agricultural practices. As a result of these factors, the process of gully erosion manifests in the form of deep and narrow channels or gullies in the soil.
Gully erosion is widespread and occurs in many areas, but it is most prevalent and significant in the Chambal basin. The extensive gully erosion in the basin has caused the loss of agricultural lands and even the displacement of entire villages. Studies indicate that the process of erosion in this area dates back to medieval times, and the ravines are clearly visible on both sides of the Chambal River and its tributaries, such as Kunwari.
Due to the extensive damage caused by gully erosion, the Indian government established the Central Ravine Reclamation Board in 1967. In 1971, a separate project was launched specifically for the Chambal region, with a budget of approximately 1200 crores. This project aimed to achieve three primary objectives.
1. the stopping expansion of existing ravines through filling them up with sandstone, levelling of soil, contour bunding to conserve rainwater and dam construction for water harvesting.
2. afforestation done with targeting plantation of trees common to local areas like Neem, Ber, Babul, Aloe vera, etc.
3. bringing lost land as well as new land under cultivation done firstly through filling of the gullies. This was followed with favourable agricultural practices as contour farming, terracing, strip cropping, etc. which prevent soil erosion the most.
While land reclamation programs have achieved some success in addressing gully erosion, it is essential to monitor the situation regularly. Moreover, the approach used to tackle the problem also needs to evolve in response to changing conditions and new information.
Hence, option C is the correct answer.