It is going to be continued neglect for the voters in Uttarakhand

Dehradun : The bane of Uttarakhand has been that there are no leaders worth their names with a vision to lead the state to a better tomorrow.

The result has been that over the 11 years that it was carved out of Uttar Pradesh, there has only been a generally overall deterioration and the people who took to the streets and faced bullets, lathis and humiliation are feeling let down and disgusted.

Though the government has fudged up figures to show how things have started looking up after statehood, the ground realities are far away.

If the government figures were true, people would not be migrating from the villages to the towns in search of greener pastures and villages would not wear deserted looks as entire population, save the aged and women, have moved out.

As neither the BJP nor the Congress have come out with their election manifestoes, no one knows what promises they hold to deliver in the next five years, if voted to power.

On the contrary, it is intellectuals and surveys who are trying to make out what will be the most important issues that will take centre stage during the 2012 Uttarakhand vidhan sabha elections.

As of now it seems that unemployment is what is troubling the youth the most. Though a number of professional colleges and Universities have come up in Dehra Dun, the state headquarters, there is no employment potential for the large trained force that is being churned out of these colleges and Universities.

Where do they go after getting their degrees is what the youth and their parents seem to be asking.

Industrialisation despite the grant of the industrial package by the Vajpayee-led NDA government could not really pick up because of the lack of necessary infrastructure and an industrial climate.

The odd industry that came up was in the Dehra Dun region, as it is about the only place that is well connected, and the Garhwal and Kumaon regions continue to remain industry free.

Close on the hills of employment, corruption is what is irking the masses, as even for essential necessities they have to bribe hands.

It may be a sweeping statement, but even then it is a fact that things do not move till money changes hands. The reason for this primarily is the fact that there is no such thing as governance in the state.

This can be summed up from the fact that the BJP government did not know that there are no ration cards in the state, and even after knowing it, more than three months were spent just in printing a few thousand ration cards.

Development has been at a standstill. Tourism that could have been exploited to make it a money spinning industry of the state continues to be in a sad state of neglect and the forests of Uttarakhand which abound with wild life and could draw lakhs of visitors annually have not been utilized to their potential.

Forget the trekking routes and mountain peaks to scale, even the four known dhams have not been exploited to make religious tourism a main stay of the economy.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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