It’s really a matter of great concern and shock that despite having seen 8/ 9 chief ministers in Uttarakhand and frequent change of governments the process of decentralized development in terms of quality education, health, small and cottage industries, employment generation, agricultural and horticultural development and improvement in law and order situation has not taken place and instead in view of the lack of all these factors the village population has been constrained to leave villages enmass to settle in nearby towns, cities or in the metropolises of the country thus defeating the actual purpose for which Uttarakhand was created.
It may be recalled that the demand for creating separate Uttarakhand out of huge Uttar pradesh was aired primarily to ensure that the himalayan state which was lacking administrative and political attention while being with Uttar Pradesh would after attaining its separate entity develop manifold and the real people of the villages suffering for lack of overall progress will be strengthened socially, economically, industrially, educationally and given jobs for sustenance including improvement in the agricutural inputs for better agricultural production.
But unfortunately whatever progress happened after 2000 when Uttarakhand was created it was the socio, economic and political progress of the plain areas with politicians, lawmakers, contractors, bureaucrats, engineers, liquor, land, mining mafia, traders and outside influential liasioners allegedly filling their pockets and enhancing bank balances.
In the process of delimitation several assembly constituencies of Uttarakhand hills have been decreased while those of the plains like Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar etc enhanced as the criteria for delimitation was population than constituency size. Since in the absence of decentralised economic, industrial, agricultural, educational, health and infrastructural development people of the Uttarakhand villages migrated to plain areas, the whole demographic character of the state changed with cities and towns getting more assembly seats and therefore developmental prospects.
After the record influx of over 30 lakh inhabitants to plains during last 17 years while the Uttarakhand villages are becoming ghost villages the plains such as Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar, Haldwani, Almora etc are becoming overcrowded lacking basic civic, health and employment avenues. One will be surprised and shocked to know that about three thousand schools have been closed in Uttarakhand while 1.5 lakh houses are locked with thousands of villages giving a deserted look thus converted into jungles devoid of any population. I fail to understand how can a state running in a fiscal deficit of whopping 47000 crores guarantee employment generation and overall development of the state of UTTARAKHAND.
The national BJP chief Amit Shah has boasted in his press conference in Dehradun on 20th September that his party’ s government has allocated Rs. 14000 crores extra for UK in the 14th five year plan and 18000 crores additionally from other central financial sources. But the moot point is would the socio economic condition of the inhabitants living in villages improve and Gandhi’s dream of wiping the last tear from the eyes of the poor and hapless ever become true in the land of abode of Gods called Uttarakhand.