At Niti Aayog meeting, CM lays thrust on checking migration from hills

By Times Of India on 24 Apr 2017
DEHRADUN: Attending a meeting of the Niti Aayog governing council at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Sunday, Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat narrated the targets, challenges and the requirements for the Himalayan state. He laid thrust on the need to check migration from the hills and sought a package for rehabilitation of 337 villages.

In addition, he asked the Centre for a Rs 4,000 crore annual Green Bonus for the environmental services. Laying out the 15-year vision of the Uttarakhand government, he said that the state has identified horticulture, biological agriculture, tourism, energy, IT, forestry, herbs and AYUSH as its growth engines.

On the issue of migration from the hills - one of the biggest challenges for the BJP government, Rawat said that keeping in mind the geographical location, international border and sensitivity, it is extremely important to create a good infrastructure to prevent people in the remote areas of the state from migrating. For which, he said, there was a need to increase the commercial activities in these belts.

For improving the financial condition of Uttarakhand, the state government has identified growth areas. The CM said that horticulture, organic farming, tourism, information and technology, forestry, herbs and AYUSH have been identified as growth engines under the 15-year vision document. The state government intends to create better infrastructure in cities and towns, better air, rail and road connectivity in the stipulated time.

He maintained that efforts were on to double the income of farmers by 2020. For which, the BJP government aims to lay thrust on organic farming, pulse cultivation, agricultural marketing and scientific agriculture.

As mountainous states had their different set of problems, the CM asked the Centre to have a separate ministry for the hill states or create a cell in the Niti Aayog. Rawat pointed out that there were 3,086 villages in the state, which did not have mobile connectivity. Out of the 16,793 villages of Uttarakhand, 13,707 have mobile connectivity. The telecom department has been instructed by the state government to ensure that each village of the state has mobile connectivity in the next two years.

He appealed to the Centre to help take mobile connectivity to these villages. He also sought permission to raise the steep slope bar from 20 degrees to 60 degrees under the Bhagirathi eco sensitive zone.

Rawat said 337 villages in the state, which is frequently devastated by natural calamity, are yet to be rehabilitated and sought financial assistance from the Centre for the purpose.

He lauded the efforts of the Niti Ayog and Centre for their initiatives to help people and provide better governance to the country.