On this day of Himachal Pradesh creation and on the eve of India’s republic day I would like to remind the responsibility and hope Himachal’s people have imposed on the new government.
Himachal and its people still shows hope in these troubling and tough times, when unemployment is growing and for that matter educated unemployment n Himachal, where Bachelor and Master graduates are growing every year, although with best command in English language they are unable to find jobs in home towns or even in Himachal’s major towns. The gap between rich and poor is increasing at alarming rate. Major cities and towns in rest of India are growing but not a single place in Himachal is able to compete. Still there is hope and youth of Himachal has excellent energy and best socialvalues with real commitment towards the society.
I would like to invite all readers to join together to guide, help and show path to the new government. We have some excellent readers and writers here, with excellent backgrounds and ability. Some of you are in major policy making positions whether in India or abroad and some have transformed global companies, but now is the time to look back at home and find what are the real issues, how the tremendous hope shown by people could be transformed into new vibrant Himachal. I invite every reader to share views, recommend and suggest new ideas so that we can help the government to build a better Himachal.
Happy Republic Day and Himachal day.
Below are few points which I think government need to put its energy, please do add your thoughts and recommendations.
1. Need to start the work on Bilaspur Bhanupalli railway line
a. The highway from Manali to Chandigarh is getting choked day by day. Instead of a reduction in the travel time over last couple of years, the travel time has increased by more than 2 hours from Chandigarh to Bilaspur. This is due to increased traffic of buses, trucks and of course tourism. The only option to decongest this highway is mass transportation through railways. Thus, the new government should seriously start the work at war footing. Further this railway line should be extended into the interiors of Himachal such as Hamirpur, Mandi and Kangra.
2. Road and railway link to Baddi and adjoining industrial areas
a. These areas have witnessed high growth in the recent years. To keep the momentum going, the new government should look at the better ways to connect these industrial places with Chandigarh through an expressway and Railway line.
3. Air connectivity to three main towns, Hamirpur, Mandi and Bilaspur
a. Although Himachal has got three airports at Kullu, Shimla and Dharamshala. Approximately 30% population of the state comprising from these three districts (Hamirpur, Mandi and Bilaspur) does not have a convenient access to an airport. Delhi appears to be the best (from economic and time saving) option compared to these airports. In the era of low-cost airlines, more and more people can afford to fly and the air access would also help the farmers from these regions to export their produce such as flowers which have recently become a big hit in the country as well as abroad. Jahu could be a possible option as it is located in the center of these three districts.
4. Bypass routes in big towns
a. There is an urgent need to create bypass roads in some of the big towns which will help in decongesting these towns from unnecessary traffic. Some of these towns are such as Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Palampur and Mandi. An initiative was taken by the previous government of Prof Dhumal when they constructed a bypass road in Hamirpur. However, it needs further development and this concept should be implemented in other towns as well.
5. Technical Education
a. Government should focus on improving the quality of education delivered in Govt schools and colleges. More emphasis should be given to technical education. Government should look at the possibility of providing more and more opportunities in technical education by encouraging the public and private partnership in these areas. The concept of J P University should be emulated and implemented in other places as well. Government should engage and convince some of the big corporates in the country and request them to make investments in education sector. They should be given incentives in terms of free/subsidized land and cheaper electricity compared to other states. The government should aim at creating at least 5-6 such universities in different places of Himachal.
If government is unable to take up these projects, then the government can propose to take up these projects either through public private partnership or some other available funding means.
The progress and the job creation from these projects shall contribute towards the progress of Himachal by providing an easy access to the interiors and villages of Himachal Pradesh.
Again I request all readers to post their views via which they feel we can bring a real change in Himachal!
Editor’s note: Dr. Sudarshan Kumar is young scientist from Himachal at IIT Bombay and is
recipient of prestigious French award for his doctoral theses in aerospace and communication technology.