Region Profile

General

Uttar Pradesh is one of the largest states in India, occupying the fifth place after Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. With an area of 2,40,928 km2, it occupies 7.3 per cent of India’s land area. It is bounded by the State of Uttaranchal in the north-west; Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan on the west; Madhya Pradesh on the south, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand on the south east, Bihar on the east and Nepal on the north. Its locational disadvantage is that it is landlocked and has to transport goods (export and import) over long distances to a sea port (Kolkata, Haldia, Mumbai and Kandla).

Its topography is dominated by the flat, low-lying Gangetic Plains, and the major rivers of Ganges (Ganga), Ramganga, Yamuna, Gomti and Ghaghra. The southern part has some low hills and plateau. The rivers carry large floods in the monsoon and cause considerable hardship and damage. At the same time, the rivers also render the area very fertile and support a very vast system of irrigation through a network of canals. This gives the state a great strength in supporting agriculture, the main source of the state’s economy. Being fully in the plains, the state lacks resources like stone, which is the basic ingredient in constructing road pavement and structures.

Geology

The geological formation of the state is characterised by rock formations ranging in age from the Archean (the Bundelkhand Granitic gneisses) to the Recent (the Ganga alluvium).
The Ganga plain which dominates the landscape and nearly covers three fourth of the geographical area of the State, lies between the rocky Himalayan belt in the north and the southern hilly tract comprised of mainly Pre-Cambrian rocks. Seismic Zone: According to GSHAP data, the state of Uttar Pradesh falls in a region of moderate to high seismic hazard. The Seismic Zone of Uttar Pradesh is shown in Figure 2.4.

Soil

The State being predominantly in the Indo-Gangetic plains, the main soil met with in the plains is alluvial silt, with a CBR of about 5. In the southern hill and plateau region a better type of soil, gravely in nature, is met with. In some areas, sodic soil is met with, which is problematic for the design, construction and maintenance of roads. Measures to overcome the problem have already been researched upon. Highly clayey soils, which are expansive, are also met with in the state, and special precautions are needed to construct roads in such areas.

Climate

Uttar Pradesh has a humid subtropical climate and experiences four seasons. The winter in January and February is followed by summer between March and May and the monsoon season between June and September. Summer Temperatures shoot up to 43 degree celcius in the summer months of April, May and June. Torrid, scorching winds blow throughout the plains of U.P. generally. In the winter the weather temperature oscillates between 12.5 and 17.5 degree celcius. Agra and Jhansi are the hottest districts. The Gangetic plain varies from semiarid to sub-humid.
The mean annual rainfall ranges from 650 mm in the southwest corner of the state to 1000 mm in the eastern and southeastern parts of the state. About 90% of the rainfall occurs during the southwest Monsoon, lasting from about June to September. With most of the rainfall concentrated during this four-month period, floods are a recurring problem and cause heavy damage to crops, life, and property, particularly in the eastern part of the state, where the Himalayan-origin rivers flow with a very low north-south gradient.

Drainage

The state is well drained by a number of rivers originating in either the Himalayas to the north or the Vindhya Range to the south. The Ganges and its main tributaries—the Yamuna, the Ramganga, the Gomati, the Ghaghara, and the Gandakare fed by the perpetual snows of the Himalayas. The Chambal, the Betwa, and the Ken, originating from the Vindhya Range, drain the southwestern part of the state before joining the Yamuna. The Sone, also originating in the Vindhya Range, drains the southeastern part of the state and joins the Ganges beyond the state.

Hydrogeology

Hydrogeologically, the States can be divided into Five units namely (1) Bhabar (2) Tarai (3) Central Ganga plains (4) Marginal Alluvial plains and (5) Southern Peninsular zone. The first one is in the extreme north followed successively by the rest southwardly. The yield of tube wells tapping Bhabar and Tarai zones ranges between 100-300 m3/hr and 100-200 m3/hr, respectively.

Ambient Air Quality

In general the state suffers from high dust problem. The state pollution control board conducts regular monitoring of ambient air quality in major towns of the state. The annual average ambient air quality in 2012 suggests that in all the major towns/cities, the concentration of PM10 was higher than the prescribed limit. Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Firozabad, Bareilly and Allahabad were among the most polluted cities as per the monitoring results of 2012. The concentrations of SO2 and NO2 in the air were found within the prescribed limit.

Water Quality

The monitoring of surface water quality for different surface water sources including major rivers and ponds are regularly conducted by the U.P. State Pollution Control Board. Almost all the surface water bodies, from where water samples were collected, show high biological contamination in terms of Total Coliforms.

Forests

The state has an abundance of natural resources. In 2013, the recorded forest area in the state was 14,349 km2which is about 5.96% of the state’s geographical area. As per Indian State of Forest Report 2013, the total forest cover in Uttar Pradesh is 14,349 km2. Out of this very dense forest is 1,623 km2, moderately dense forest covers 4,550 km2 and open forest covers 8,176 km2.
Out of the total forest cover, 70.31 percent of the forest cover is Reserve Forest, 8.75 percent area is Protected Forest and rest 21.12 percent is Unclassed Forests. The existing forests in Uttar Pradesh can be classified into three categories: (i) wet tropical deciduous forests (ii) dry tropical deciduous forests and (iii) tropical thorny forests.
Source: India State of Forest Report, 2013, Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India

Roadside Trees

In the state of Uttar Pradesh, linear plantation along National Highways, State Highways and Canals within right of way has been declared as Protected Forests so for felling of trees within existing ROW will attract provisions of Forest Conservation Act, and hence the case for diversion of forest area for non forest purpose will be applicable. The predominant tree species along roads are neem, teak, shisham, babul and eucalyptus. Apart from this mango, peepal, ornamental trees like gulmohar, amaltas, acasia, auriculiformis, etc are prominent species.

Fauna

Uttar Pradesh has vivid fauna and flora. The fauna of UP consists Tigers, Cats, Antelopes, Deer, Wild Boars, Elephants, Rhinos and other animals that are common in basin. Chinkara, Sambar and Chital, Neel Gai, Swamp Deer, Hispid Hare and Bengal Floricans, Black Buck are the other common wild animals found in different forests of Uttar Pradesh.
The avian population here comprises a mix of residents as well as migratory birds. The birds migrate across Himalayas from Tibet, China, Europe and Siberia during winters. Some of these birds fly over 5000 km and above 8500 meters high to reach here.
Source: India State of Forest Report, 2013, Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India

Wildlife Sanctuary/ National Parks

Uttar Pradesh has one National Park and 23 Wildlife Sanctuary covering a total area of 5712 sq Km, which contributes 2.37 percent of the state’s geographical area.
The largest wildlife reserve in Uttar Pradesh is Dudhwa National Park that is situated in the district of Lakhimpur Kheri, stretched in an area of nearly 500 square Kilometers. Apart from Dudhwa, the other very important reserve is Chandra Prabha sanctuary that is situated in the district of Mughal Sarai.
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is home to a large number of rare and threatened species, which include Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, Swamp Deer, Hispid Hare and Bengal Floricans.

Floods and Droughts in the State

The State faces flood situation mostly in the northern and eastern parts in the catchments of River Ghaghra and Ganga. Around 73.06 lac ha.is flood-prone and the districts affected are 31 with 154 blocks and 18958 villages. In certain areas, every year flood situation arises whereas in some areas it is once in two to three years.
Regarding drought situation, the Southern part of the State i.e. areas of Bundelkhand and Vindhyan region comprising of eight districts are facing drought situation almost for 3 years in a period of five years. Incidentally, these districts are having less than fifty percent areas under irrigation.

Social Profile

Uttar Pradesh constitutes one of the largest states in India and the state itself represents one of the largest self-governing areas in the world in terms of population. The State of Uttar Pradesh, whilst fourth largest in India in geographical land area, has a population that is estimated to be of the order of 195 million people, a figure superseded by only six countries in the world. According to the Uttar Pradesh Census 2011, the density of population in Uttar Pradesh is about 800 people per square kilometre which is way above the national average of about 380 and a major cause of concern. Hinduism is the dominant religion in Uttar Pradesh, followed by a majority of 80% people. Muslims forms the second largest community with a population of 18.4%. Rest of the population follows Sikhism, Buddhism, Christians and Jains. The scheduled castes are 17.5 % of the total population whereas scheduled tribes are less than 2 % of the total population. The literacy rate in the state has gone up in recent years and yet continues to linger at about 70% which is below the national average of 74%. The sex ratio is almost at par with the national average and stands at about 900.
Source: Census of India, 2011