Let’s have a look at — TOP 10 problems in Uttarakhand

it’s hard to start an intro, especially when you are writing against what you usually do, my blog niche is specifically talking about the Economy, Business and Startup Environment in Uttarakhand.

but there is a reason and there will be always a reason; why some states have marvellous achievements & are able attracted great investment,MNCs, eyes of foreign investors. & why some states still are in their era of kabutar.

OK! jokes apart;

in this article I have shared the top 10 problems, Uttarakhand is facing;

some were the problems back when Uttarakhand wasn’t even formed, some have worsened in recent times, some are emerging as a potential thread( eg Climate change which is showing its coloured way before scientist’s prediction) and at last, I have shared how COVID added fuel to the fire, and what the immediate Government have taken.

and yes, I will not only bitch about the problems(neither I’m that type of guy) but along the way will also show the +ve steps Government have taken wrt problems.

so take a long breath, keep the water bottle aside( popcorn bhi chalega) ; here we go >>>

Rapid urbanisation & Permanant migration

yeah, both these issues go hand in hand,

One of the main reasons for the creation of the state Uttarakhand, was to check the issues of which were neglected for a long, ie: the Hilly Areas infrastructure problems and the Migration issue.

Since 2000, Uttarakhand has seen rapid growth in terms of Industries, FDIs, infrastructure, tourist outflow in Cities like— Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital; But the problems of Rural people remains the same.

The State Capital, Districts Headquarters, tehsils have shown significant growth, leading to a lot of migration from Village into these areas. plus most of the migrants are educated thereby when they migrate to cities like Dehradun, Haridwar or delhi. they usually settle there, this causes permanent migration thereby Abandoning the connection with villages. unlike the case of migrants in UP and Bihar.

AS per Census, 2011—105/16793 villages have no inhabitants left, making them Ghost villages. Almora and Pauri Garhwal have seen the largest % of migration, 47% and 34% respectively.

“What outsiders fail to see is that villages are communities and work only as communities. If even a third of the village is gone, it becomes difficult for the rest to stay back and put the pieces back together” says Pushpa Devi

Investment in human capital

Learning should not stop with earning. Only a skilled person will grow in today’s world. This is applicable to both people and countries,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the significance of skill in post-Covid recovery.

The state is gifted with ample Natural resources, Heritage & Educated people.

But to turn an Existing problem/Existing resource into an employment-generating business; we need a skilled person or Entrepreneurs. which was not promoted for a very long time, since the formation of the state.

since 2013 Uttarakhand Skill Development Mission (UKSDM) started, which gained has gained it’s momentum in recent years. Thanks to the internet & the Uttarakhand Government Social media presence. under UKSDM, The State Government provides free skill development training to youth in all 13 districts

The UKSDM promote skill development activities & have planned to train 6.5 Lack youth and provide employment, also providing them certificates at the end.

A full list of courses provided by UKSDM can be seen in –>  by Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana

One can register free but the current (wrt July 2021)available free courses are only available in cities areas (Dehradun,  Rishikesh, Haridwar). which again Questions why not the facility is not available to hilly terrain people.

Agriculture, farmer issue

Agriculture is the backbone of Uttarakhand not because it contributes significantly to the state’s GDP(only 10%), but because it is the major source of livelihood for 58% of workers.

what makes Agriculture in Uttarakhand difficult:

  • The less profitability of farming in Hilly areas
  • non-availability of separate hill farming policy
  • lack of irrigation facility
  • the sucessful implementation of alternative of farming in rural areas like— MENREGA scheme ( which guarentees at least 100 days of wage employment), Rashan scheme. is also a reason why farmers tend not to choose to farm.

Farming in Rural Areas has become more difficult nowadays because of fragmented agricultural land, multiple ownership of small plots.

Also, the majority of state agriculture production comes from 4 districts of Haridwar, Dehradun, Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital. Because of activity adopting new Farm Equipment and technologies, thereby making it more competitive for Rural Hilly areas which are concentrated in other 9 districts.

In this context farmer leader Shankarchand Ramola said:

 “Fifteen years have gone but we do not have a separate policy for hill farming. It’s a must as hill farming cannot keep pace with plain agricultural activities for the inherent hardships,”

Cooperative farming can also emerge as a solution wrt small landholding problems. where farmers can join come together to enlarge their landholding use utilize modern technology(which work best in large landholdings).

In this context Verghese  Kurien( the father of the white revolution) said:

 “Wherever farmers have had cooperatives, there have been no cases of suicides. It has happened only in places where there were no farmer institutions, where farmers didn’t have any say, where they were unable to market their produce and were exploited by middlemen. The solution lies in the formation of cooperatives all over the country.”

Health facility

Even after 21 years of formation of Uttarakhand, the village in Hilly areas have to dependent of cities like Dehradun, Haridwar,Haldwani; as large number of doctors are concentrated there and some of the life saving treatments & modern Equipment are only availble in these cities (like dialysis, MRI). Plus the skilled professional are unwilling to give their servies in hilly areas due to poor Infrastruture, limited accomodation, and poor transportation.

In this context, former Additional Director of Health, Dr Geeta Joshi said:

 “The problem became acute during the intervening years of the creation of Uttarakhand. Though there are a number of government health facilities in rural areas, these lack the requisite number of doctors and paramedical staff. It will be too much to expect the private sector to serve rural population, as it is guided by profit motive. Their interests can best be served in cities, which is a shame,”

Education

Uttarakhand has a Literacy rate of 79.63% ( male – 88.33% & Female – 70.70%) more than national average, the state is also known as hub of Education.

There are approx 15K primary schools with 10Lakh students and 22k working teachers( census 2011).

The main problem of the State education is:

  • lack of teachers in rural areas
  • the good private institutions hesitate to go in hilly areas ( because of profit concern) ,
  • many Goverment schools have only 1 teacher; The issue is not Staff crunch but the teacher posted in the hilly areas are reluctant to arrive.

Though uttarakahnd has emerged as hub of Education, having some of the Expensives Schools and Universitites in Cities like— Dehradun, Haridwar,; but may experts have raised the question on “the quality of education”.

Connectivity

the connectivity in state have been one of the primary concern since early days, be it digital connectivity or road connectivity

Many skilled youth are fed up with cities monotonous life, wanted to move back to the hills and work as a freelancer but lack of basic facilities like a steady internet connection make them 2x to think about migrating back to village.

and yes, My dear friend we are living in 21st Century

where Japan have broken the world record of optical fiber and internet speed. they manage to transfer data at an astonishing speed of 48, 875 gigabytes per second.

NOW, back to our World,

Mahtolia(resident of a remote village) says:

Several families, including mine, shifted to Haldwani city in the same district; many others left the state altogether, some even the country, due to lack of proper road infrastructure,”

According to Public Works Department data, there are 15,745 villages Of these, 75% have road connectivity. Which means 25 % (3,520 villages) don’t.

The former CM of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat regarding this issue, said:

I admit that thousands of villages are yet to be connected, but it’s also true that 4,270 kilometres of new road has been laid and 1,472 roads have been reconstructed over the past 22 months. At the same time, 155 new bridges have been sanctioned, so that transportation can be smoother,”

he also added that infrastructural development would be the top priority in coming years.

there is also a good news from Centre:

the Center Governemnt approve  BharatNet 2.0 project in Uttarakhand underwhich 12000 villages will get internet connectivity

 Unsustainanble development

Uttarakahnd is a reservioir of Biodiversities, but it is been under constant threat from overExploiataion of exotic plants, Excessively using Fertilizers and pesticites, Deliberate forest fires, big Hydroelctric projects, mismanageemnt of tourist outflow & at last Road and Railway Construction.

Though some of these large-scale infrasturcture are very important for the Developement of state in the long run, but from past 3 decade immense forerest are wiped out because of these projects, As a result we sometime also witness— the true Nature colors like: devastating lanslide, flash flood vedios or  plants and animals being endangered.

Therefore a good balance  between Development projects and biodiversity should be maintained.

Climate issue

Latest reports shows that Uttarakhand Temperature can increase by  1.6 – 1.9 degree by 2050.

Well that’s a long time,,, who cares!

Uttarakhand Action plan on Climate change pointed out that— Residents in Uttarakhand are experincing the effects of climate change in the form :

  • Unpreditable rainfall
  • Melting of Glaciers
  • Reduction of snow in winter
  • Drying up of perrenial streams
  • Chaning in cropping seasons

Shifting our focus from the locals to -> tourists

the Tourism Sector genereate 4.4% of the State GDP & also the backbone of livelihoods of Resorts,Hotles,  homestays, taxi services, guiding activities, local Art shops etc,

A State like uttarakahnd where the tourist numbers are 3x the number of it’s population(1.1crore);  Climate-related problems or disasters may inclucate fear in the minds of travellers both domenstic and foreiners.

We have seen this type of fear post 2013 kedarnath flood, which is not good for the Economy of Uttarakhand in the long run.

Other issues

Apart from all above issues there are some other issues also which I consider a bit less impactful  in the developement of Uttarakahand; comparatively! ( no offence)

Like—

  • proper treatment of non-degradable waste (which is being thrown directly in holy river ganga)
  • proper sewage system
  • Illegal wildlife trade
  • animal poaching
  • illegal mining.

COVID disruption

already Uttarakhand state was suffering from exisitng problems which i have mention above;

the covid-19 has added fuel to the fire, in which government has also taken several good steps to mitigate it’s COVID impact.

tacking this scenario the Education Minister said:

The government’s budget, Rs 5 lakh crore, which has been added as a capital expenditure in the budget, will help create demand for skilled blue collar professionals in the country. The ministry will focus on creating youth who have knowledge and are employable,”

also the Goverment introduce New Education policy which is focussed on skilling to a global level,

futher Education minister added:

 “Post Covid, recovery of the economy now depends on how fast we can skill our youth and make them employable,”

Uttarakhand Goverment has also created new Policy for Youth Employment, the state will train the unemployed youth in 35 sectors, which is estimated to create 10,000 jobs + a 2500 Stipend for trainess will also be given

after COVID have snatched lot of jobs in ciites, a lot of people came back in hills, for employment generation of these people and to tackle migration problem Mr. Rupesh Rai (founded of Green People communitity) devised a plan Under the guidance of Col. Ajay Kothiyal

the team also known as Green people, is fromed by volunteers comming from various sector, some had worked in hospitality, some were marketing professional,..etc. Mr PK Singh(Vice President of Green People) said :

 “We were and are working for methods to initiate reverse-migration”,

due to rapid spread corona there were shortages of many Equipments and staff, in this respect the Center announced 894Cr for strrengthing health services in Uttarakahd.

Sonika (Director of National Health mission) said:

This is the highest budget allocated for the healthcare department so far,”

which is a good news for the health sector of Uttarakahnd.

Even before COVID19 the the state of Education in Govenment School ( especially in hilly areas) were not appreciable.

COVID made it worse, with over 38% of students not able to access online education, in many remote areas the phone tower connectivity is yet to reach, other have bad network because of heavy rainfall and landslide make matter worse

wrt this Uttarakhand Government have launched TV programmes to provide lectures and teaching material,

also the Center have also launched several Educational channels through DTH, and a mobile app is also being developed

So these we my part of Analysis, what issue do you think should be immediatly addressed?

for eg, state Goverment next immediate focus is on Rapid Infrastrucutre developement . Do you agree with that. Do let me know in the comments down below.

Thanks for Reading

I REALLY APPRECIATE your time

sources:

TOI_enterepreneurship program , print_ecnomomic recovery , euttarakhand_UKSDM_, skillIndia_UKSDM , hindustandTimes_Uttarakhand Agri sector _, Governancenow_Cooperative Farming_, euttarakhand_bio-Village, vikalpsangam_organicFarms , tribuneindia_healtcareinUK , businessstandar_center_894cr, gaonconnectino_covidUKSchoolimpact

About the author

the pahari guy

I'm Aman - the Pahari guy,
love to write about Socio-economic issues of India, about by Home- Uttarakhand & also like to share my Experience on various Topics

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