Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gaisain as a State Capital for Uttarakhand ?

Do we really have to give a justification for Gaisain as a State Capital for Uttarakhand ?

Uttarakhand State was carved out of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2000. Dehra Dun was made a temporary State Capital and nine years have passed since the formation of the State but the approach of the public today is still to press the shifting of the state capital and not the development activities for the proposed state capital , the shifting will never be carried out unless the development takes place.

Let us take the example of Mumbai in Maharashtra State. There was a proposal to shift the state capital from Mumbai to New Mumbai, because Mumbai had been over crowded and therefore it had become necessary to isolate the commercial areas from the Government offices. New Mumbai today is a well developed place with all modern facilities. A large number of big corporate offices have also shifted to New Mumbai and besides the development of New Mumbai a lot of pressure on Mumbai has been released. Now the state Govt. has option to move to New Mumbai provided there is the political will.

A State capital can neither be made overnight nor can it be shifted overnight in wilderness. Even after seven years of formation of the state, Gairsain as a capital of Uttarakhand has become only an interesting topic for an academic discussion and also an issue to gain political advantage. When will the public stop making it an issue, and demand for the development of the future state Capital.

Shifting the state capital at this juncture would amount to something similar to, what had happened in history during the regime of Muhammed-bin-Tuglak, and I do not think any CM can take that decision.

The development of mountains as Hill Stations was done by the British Regime, and at a time, when there were no means of transportations in those areas. It is distressing to note that even today, after sixty years of independence, we feel helpless to develop even a single Hill Station. Tourism is a major source of revenue for Uttarakhand and development of hill stations would add to it, and it would be worth while to consider the developing of 3 to 4 new hill stations.

The development of Dehradun would have taken place even otherwise, when it was under U.P. had sufficient funds been allocated for its development. Then the priority of allocations of funds was for the development of other plains areas of U.P. and today, the situation is not different , it is now for the plains and only for already developed areas of Uttarakhand.

Have state Governments so far made any significant contribution towards the development of state as such, except the change of name from Uttaranchal to Uttarakhand.

What is the political will of the State Governments so far on this issue ? What are their objectives ? We all know what all developments and facilities are required for a state capital. Has there been any significant move in that direction ? If so can we have the following information.

(a) Organizational set up

(b) Funds allocated

(c) Plan for development and various phases with the time frame to achieve our objectives.

(d) What are our achievements so far in terms of :-

(i) Constructional activities.

(ii) Over all Progress..

(iii) What action has been taken to achieve our objectives.

(iv) What are the methods for monitoring the progress..

How many people of the State have really visited Gairsain so far and how frequently ?

Are we really taking any action to develop it as the capital of the State ?.

If so what are the actions so far and what are the achievements ?

This is a burning question, which needs to be addressed.

...........Major S. C. Nautiyal (Retd.)