CHAPTER 6:SOIL AND MINERAL RESOURCES IN HARYANA
A large part of Haryana consists of vast alluvial plains, that are drained by many rivers like Yamuna, Ghaggar, Markanda, etc. The soil in these plains vary from yellow to brown colour. The state is presently facing problems of massive soil degradation that also reduces the fertility of the soil. The mineral wealth of Haryana is also limited and confined to a few regions only.
The soils in Haryana is formed almost entirely of alluvium, and they are deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus. The soils found in the state are classified on the basis of their composition, colour, salinity, etc.
Classification of Soils
Broadly, the soils of Haryana have been classified into five major groups, which are described below.
- Reddish Chestnut Soil
This soil is found in the areas having annual rainfall of 1000 to 1500 mm, in the Shivalik region of Haryana. The soils is mildly acidic to neutral in reaction. Soil erosion by water is a serious problem in this soil. This soil is also called Piedmont soil.
This soil is deficient in phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, zinc and iron. Its pH range is 6.5-7.5. This soil is found in Kalka (Panchkula), Narayanpur (Ambala) and Jagadhari (Yamunanagar). Maize, wheat, rice, sugarcane and seasame are major crops grown here.
- Tropical Arid Brown Soil (Thick and Very Heavy Soil)
The soil is found in areas having annual rainfall of 750-1000 mm. This soil does not have calcium carbonate layer within 1 m depth. It is deficient in nitrogen phosphorus and zinc. Its pH range is 7-8.5. The soil varies from loamy sand to clayey loam. This soil is classified into two forms i.e. Bhangar and Khadar. Bhangar soil is found in places that have higher elevations where as Khadar soil is found in lowland areas.
The thick soil is found in Yamunanagar, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Sonipat and parts of Faridabad. Sugarcane, wheat and rice are grown in this soil. The heavy soil is found in Thanesar (Kurukshetra), Fatehabad and Jagadhari (Yamunanagar). It is known as Dabar. Cotton, rice, gram and wheat are grown in this soil. Waterlogging , salinity and alkalinity are quite serious problems affecting this soil.
- Arid Brown Soil (Medium Soil)
This soil is found in areas where annual rainfall varies from 500-750 mm. The soil is calcareous in nature and gravel (kankar) layer occurs at a depth of 1-1.5 m. The soil is deficient in potassium, nitrogen and zinc. Its pH range is 7.5-8.5. The soil varies from sandy loam to silty clay. It is further divided into thick loam, light loam and medium loam soil.
Thick loam soil is found in Nuh and Firozpur districts of Haryana. Medium loam soil is found in Sonipat, Panipat, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Gurugram and Faridabad. Light loam soil is found in upper reaches of Ambala, North Gurugram and North-East of Nuh district. Wheat, rice, maize, cotton, sugarcane and jowar are the main crops grown in this soil. Salinity and alkalinity are serious problems in this soil.
- Sierozem Soil (Light and Very Light Soil)
This soil is found in areas where annual rainfall varies from 300-500 mm. Salinity and alkalinity problems appear in this soil. The soil is calcareous and usually has a kankar layer at a depth of 75-125 cm. The soil is deficient in nitrogen, phosphorus and zinc. Light soil is also known as Raosli soil. It varies from sandy loam to loamy soil. It is mainly found in Bhiwani, Rewari, Gurugram, Jhajjar and Hisar districts. Wheat, bajra, gram, jowar, cotton, rapeseed and mustard are grown in this soil.
Very light soil has a very light texture. The soil is sandy loam. However, the alluvium is covered with sand which make it dry. It is found in Hisar, Sirsa, Bhiwani, Rewari, Mahendragarh and Nuh districts. Wheat, cotton, mustard and rapeseed are major crops that can be grown in this type of soil.
- Desert Soil (Loose Soil)
The soil is found in the areas having annual rainfall less than 300 mm. Wind erosion is a serious problem in this soil. Soil is deficient in most of the nutrients so heavy application of fertilisers and water is needed for cultivation.
Its pH range is 8.5-9. These soils are found in Southern parts of Sirsa, Hisar, Bhiwani, Mahendragarh and Rewari. Gram, bajra and jowar are main crops that grown in this soil.
Soil Profile in Districts of Haryana
The soil profile found in the districts of Haryana is different with each other. The soil profile of some of the districts are given below:
- In the sub-hilly region of the Shivaliks, loamy, grey and sandy soils are found.
- In Rohtak district, the soil is mainly comprises of old alluvium and thus it is fertile.
- In most of the areas of Jhajjar tehsil, one can find sand dunes. The soil here is of light grey colour and lacks nitrogen content.
- The soil of Sonipat district is sandy and loamy.
- In Sirsa district, red soil is found.
- In Hisar, Bhiwani and Fatehabad, sandy loamy soil is in abundance.
- Gurugram district comprises of both hills and depressions. The soils found here are sandy and loamy.
- In Jind district, soil has been brought by rivers Ghaggar and Yamuna. It is also called alluvial soil.
- The soil of Ambala and Kaithal district is yellowish-grey in colour. The soil of Faridabad is fertile.
- The soil of districts Kurukshetra, Panipat and Karnal is yellowish-grey and fertile.
- The soil of districts Mahendragarh and Rewari is predominantly sandy.
Soil Degradation in Haryana
Water erosion, wind erosion and waterlogging causes degradation of soil which results reduction in the soil fertility. These are followed by alkalinity, salinity and flood deposits. Saline soil occurs in parts of Gurugram, Mahendragarh, Sonipat, Rohtak, Hisar and Jind districts of Haryana. Alkali soil occurs in parts of Karnal, Kurukshetra and Rohtak districts. Water erosion is a serious problem in the Shivalik foothills in the districts of Ambala, Panchkula and Yamunanagar. Waterlogging is also an acute problem. Southern parts of Mahendragarh, Gurugram and Hisar are affected by wind erosion.
Soil Conservation Measures
Around 40-50% of land resource in Haryana is subjected to high run off, siltation and land degradation. Following measures can be taken in the state to reduce the ongoing process of land degradation :
- To reduce soil erosion by wind, some measures which can be taken are social fencing, building contour trenches, vegatative plantations, creating grass barriers and mulching.
- To reduce land degradation by running water and waterlogging some measures which can be taken are building check dams, silt retention dams, gully plugs, storage structure to collect rainwater, integrated watershed management, stablisation of ponds, etc.
- To prevent undercutting of hilly surfaces, planting trees, bushes, erecting wire structures, drop structures are undertaken.
Minerals in Haryana
In Haryana, minerals are available only in seven districts. These districts are Panipat, Faridabad, Mahendragarh, Ambala, Gurugram, Rewari and Bhiwani. The minerals occurring in this state are primarily China clay, limestone, dolomite, and quartz/silica sand. Other minerals, such as barytes, calcite, feldspar, copper, tin and tungsten are noteworthy. Kaliyana in the district of Charkhi Dadri is famous for producing flexible sandstone.
This sandstone is embedded in the same quarries (a large pit) where tougher sandstone is found. China clay is found in Faridabad, Gurugram and Rewari districts. Mineral water is available in Shiv Kund and Shila Kund of Sohna in the district of Gurugram. Among building materials, granite, slate, marble, quartzite and sandstone are also found in the state. Limestone and materials used in construction and building are some of the major minerals of Haryana. The major mineral of Haryana are given below.
Haryana is famous for its slate deposits, which are extensively extracted and used as ornamental, building and decorative stones and forms an important source of foreign currency. The slates are generally of greyish and greyish black colour. Although black, greenish black and multi-coloured slates are also found. Other prominent building materials include sandstone, quartzite and granite. Building stones are found in Mahendragarh, Rewari and Gurugram.
The main deposits of slate occur in Mahendragarh district. Faridabad and Gurugram also has small quantities of slate. Quartz is found in Bhiwani, Faridabad, Gurugram and Mahendragarh, and Quartzite is found in Gurugram and Mahendragarh. Granite occurs in Bhiwani district. It is of high quality. It is also found in Maroli hills in Mahendragarh.
It is found in the district of Panchkula, Ambala, Mahendragarh, Bhiwani Rohtak and Hisar. In Panchkula, limestone is extracted from the regions of Kalka and Crystallised Limestone is extracted from Malla.
In Ambala, limestone it is mined from Narayangarh, Khadam, Ramsar, Shola and Jaunpur. Crystallised Limestone is taken from Baru. In Mahendragarh, limestone is extracted from Ghani, Kyutha, Ramnathpura, etc.
Haryana has limited quantities of iron-ore reserves. It is found in Bhiwani but the iron-ore is of low quality. In Narnaul of Mahendragarh district, iron-ore of magnetite variety is found.
Kyanite is found in Mahendragarh district. The kyanite is light blue and yellowish in colour and is associated with flakes of muscovite.
It is found in Haryana in Mahendragarh district. It is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties.
It is found in Haryana in Mahendragarh district. It is a metal with important industrial metal alloy uses, particularly in stainless steels.
It is a rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most commonly limestone or dolomite rock. Metamorphism causes variable recrystallisation of the original carbonate mineral grains. In Haryana, it is found in Mahendragarh district.
Minor Minerals in Haryana
Barytes Mahendragarh, Panchkula
Calcite Mahendragarh, Panchkula
Copper Bhiwani, Mahendragarh
Dolomite Ambala, Mahendragarh
Feldspar Mahendragarh, Gurugram
Gold Markanda and Tangir river beds at Narayangarh (Ambala)
Tin, Tungsten, Zinc Bhiwani
Slate Rewari, Gurugram, Mahendragarh
Sand Ambala, Panchkula, Yamunanagar,
– Sand (Badarpur) Faridabad
– Sand (Dadupur) Yamunanagar, Karnal
– Sand (Tibba) Bhiwani, Mahendragarh