VoW 2019 / Sessions / November 15 / RSTF-2 “UTTARAKHAND @ 20” Measuring the Yardstick Curated by Sustainable Development Forum, Uttaranchal
TWO DECADES OF A STATE
Uttarakhand, the beautiful Himalayan state, now at a major turning point completing 20 years since its bifurcation from Uttar Pradesh has a long way to go. The session that happened at the Blue Star Hall Uttarakhand @ 20 Measuring the Yardstick was a peeping back into the way the state has travelled and looking forward into the roads yet to be explored. Chaired by Shri. Indu K Pandey, the panelists including Major Yadav, Ms. Rashmi and Mr. Nitin Bhadoria.
Mr. Pandey started his address by talking about the need to widen the definition of sustainable development by including the economic, environmental and sociocultural aspects to it. Uttarakhand, started in a very dismal state and due to this reason, even though it had a good growth rate, the development was not very commendable. The weak foundation could not steer any sudden change in the condition of the state. Also in the initial times, the development remained confined to Dehradun, Haridwar and some parts of Nainital. The various problems and the ways to tackle it were discussed further. Bringing the industrialists to setup industries in the hills is not possible. So Himalayan states should make their development strategies and plans considering the topography.
Major Yadav talked about the slow reduction in the state’s growth rate due to the lack of investment. Sectors like tourism, power, horticulture and allied sectors has not been able to flourish because of this. He continued to talk about the development initiatives by the Government like the establishment of cardiac centres at Dehradun and Almora and nephrology centres at the Coronation Hospital all in PPP mode. The schools in the hills having less than 10 students have been clubbed and NCERT books have been adopted in all classes. Organic farms spanning 61000 hectares have been set making the state first in the production of pears, peaches and plums and eight in the shipping of cut flowers.
He went on to talk about the government measures to provide Msp to farmers to grow high value aromatic plants. He talked about the need to focus on non religious tourism. The traffic jam, a common sight on the way to Mussoorie has sparked the government to start a doorway between Dehraun and Mussoorie. An international convention centre on Rishikesh to attract international festivals and assignments to Uttarakhand is also coming. A totalled dedicated plan to make Tehri the next best tourist spot, even surpassing Nainital and Mussoorie has also been considered. He stopped by talking about the need of policies framed keeping the grass root level of the society in mind and not the ones made in conference halls and in the hope for a more vibrant and economically independent Uttarakhand.
Nitin Bhadoria ,district magistrate of Almora talked about the need to weave the little snippets about the place into long tales. He enlightened on the need to spread the hand looms, handicrafts ,culture and tourism of the place. The need for a glocal initiative, that is the need to promote local products on the global level.
He asked the officers to strongly motivate people and build a good relationship with them, have the passion and love for the hills. The session ended with Ms. Reshmi summing up the activities of the UNDP with the Uttarakhand government especially in the waste management and skill development in rural areas.
by Abha A Ahad, St. Stephens, New Delhi