Q. Consider the following statement about saline soils of India:
1. Saline soils contain a larger proportion of sodium, potassium and magnesium.
2. Saline soils are also known as Urvara
Which of the above statement is/are correct?

[A] 1 only

[B] 2 only

[C] Both 1 and 2

[D] Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: A

India has varied relief features, landforms, climatic realms and vegetation types. These have contributed in the development of various types of soils in India. In ancient times, soils used to be classified into two main groups – Urvara and Usara, which were fertile and sterile, respectively.

Saline Soils

They are also known as Usara soils. Saline soils contain a larger proportion of sodium, potassium and magnesium, and thus, they are infertile, and do not support any vegetative growth. They have more salts, largely because of dry climate and poor drainage. They occur in arid and semi-arid regions, and in waterlogged and swampy areas. Their structure ranges from sandy to loamy. They lack in nitrogen and calcium. Saline soils are more widespread in western Gujarat, deltas of the eastern coast and in Sunderban areas of West Bengal. In the Rann of Kuchchh, the Southwest Monsoon brings salt particles and deposits there as a crust. Seawater intrusions in the deltas promote the occurrence of saline soils. In the areas of intensive cultivation with excessive use of irrigation, especially in areas of green revolution, the fertile alluvial soils are becoming saline. Excessive irrigation with dry climatic conditions promotes capillary action, which results in the deposition of salt on the top layer of the soil. In such areas, especially in Punjab and Haryana, farmers are advised to add gypsum to solve the problem of salinity in the soil.

Source: NCERT