Uttarakhand : A dream gone sour

Dehradun : Myopic vision, zero governance, faulty planning and rampant corruption are perhaps the reasons why even in the 12 years that Uttarakhand got statehood, the youth are still disillusioned and migration from the villages continues to haunt the state government.

And this is not making exaggerations, for the state statistics department in its own survey has revealed that that the rate of migration from the villages in the upper reaches is a staggering 86.3 per cent, which is just pushing pressure on the cities, which are already reeling under tremendous infrastructural constraints.

Photo by Vijay Verma

The agitation for statehood was not confined to the state capital or the cities, but it was the women and youth from and in the far-flung interiors that gave the demand for statehood the much needed impetus.

They has joined the agitation with dreams and hopes that have been shattered by myopic and self-centred politicians and a wayward ‘babudom’.

The two major potentials of the state, that could have provided much needed employment potential, tourism and hydel power sectors, have remained neglected.

No efforts have been made to divert the tourists to the virgin interiors of the state to boost the economy of the rural hinterlands and give self-employment avenues to the youth.

True that the area had been neglected as a distant corner of Uttar Pradesh, where development plans were made on paper, the projects shown completed and the money siphoned off with nothing being done at the ground level.

No one checked them. Sadly the state of affairs is still continuing despite attaining statehood, for there is neither the political will, nor the committed ‘babudom’.

Facilities have not climbed up to the hills. Health, education, electricity, roads, drinking water, irrigation, in fact you name it and it is missing from the villages of the hills.

There is no road connectivity and no job opportunities, leaving the people with no option but to migrate in search of greener pastures.

Bhauguna, the new CM

No effort has been made to promote horticulture as an alternative for the villagers, though on official records, a huge chunk of land is shown under it.

One wonders how the records are made, sitting in the air conditioned chambers of officers, for even department officials commit, albeit on quiet, that the figures are to mislead the government.

And just to bring things on record, in Bageshwar district only 23 per cent of the households have LPG connections, whereas over 75 per cent of the population is still dependent upon the forests to get fuel wood.

And the picture is no different in the other hill districts, yet tall claims are made of the development that has taken place.

There is a silent discontent simmering in the hills as the people seem to be getting fed up of the false promises, fictitious records of development and facilities being provided and above all rampant corruption right down to the lowest wrung of the hierarchy.

Yes this is Uttarakhand, a dream of the people that started in 1994, soared in 2000 with statehood, gone sour by 2012.

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.

2 Comments

  • uttarakhand is created for politicians and officials as both are minting money, even a lowest level officials has collected lakhs of rupees, hill people are very ignorant and do not complaint openly , they just do ji hajoor, even pradhan is minting money
    govt is making planing for its officials to collect money

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