UT­TARAK­HAND: A NEW HOPE IN THE HI­MALAYAS

Airports India - - UTTARAKHAND GOVERNMENT -

De­spite ge­o­graph­i­cal chal­lenges, the Ut­tarak­hand state has been mov­ing rapidly on the path of devel­op­ment un­der the lead­er­ship of Chief Min­is­ter Mr. Triven­dra Singh Rawat. The state gov­ern­ment in the past one year has taken sev­eral ma­jor ini­tia­tives in the field of good gov­er­nance, agri­cul­ture, tourism and in­dus­tries, whose im­pact has be­gun to ap­pear on the ground.

GOOD GOV­ER­NANCE & TRANS­PARENCY

Good gov­er­nance and trans­parency has been the ba­sic core value of the state gov­ern­ment led by Chief Min­is­ter Mr. Triven­dra Singh Rawat dur­ing the last one year and his im­age of an hon­est and clean politi­cian has added to the cred­i­bil­ity amongst the masses which has been vis­i­ble in the work­ing style of the gov­ern­ment.

Adopt­ing a pol­icy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against cor­rup­tion, the state gov­ern­ment has come down heav­ily on the cor­rupt putting be­hind bars, 20 gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials al­legedly ac­cused in the land ac­qui­si­tion scan­dal of the Na­tional High­way 74. Much to the re­lief of the poor and com­mon peo­ple, the state gov­ern­ment took strin­gent ac­tion against deal­ers of pub­lic dis­tri­bu­tion scheme who were al­legedly in­volved in not dis­tribut­ing ap­pro­pri­ate ra­tion to PDS ben­e­fi­cia­ries. The ‘no non­sense’ ap­proach of the Chief Min­is­ter had an ef­fect which was felt down the line putting a check on cor­rup­tion at all lev­els.

This at­mos­phere of good gov­er­nance, trans­parency, care for the poorer and pub­lic ac­count­abil­ity has re­posed the faith of the com­mon man in the state gov­ern­ment. The busi­ness of il­le­gal min­ing from the rivers flow­ing from Ut­tarak­hand was one of the most flour­ish­ing and no­to­ri­ous. Chief Min­is­ter Mr. Triven­dra Singh Rawat soon after tak­ing reins of the state de­cided to start on­line auc­tion process of min­ing leases to con­trol il­le­gal min­ing trade in the state. This move helped in pre­vent­ing cor­rup­tion, check­ing il­le­gal trade prac­tices and ul­ti­mately led to phe­nom­e­nal rise in rev­enue for the state gov­ern­ment.

The new round of changes with trans­parency also brought in changes in the work cul­ture of the state gov­ern­ment. Ut­tarak­hand Chief Min­is­ter Triven­dra Singh Rawat show­ing com­mit­ment to bet­ter work ethics in­tro­duced bio­met­ric at­ten­dance sys­tem in of­fices, bring in a change in work cul­ture where em­ploy­ees are reg­u­larly com­ing to their places of work not only bring­ing in ef­fi­ciency but also pro­vid­ing re­lief to the com­mon per­son.

Not to be sat­is­fied and en­sur­ing ac­count­abil­ity, Chief Min­is­ter Mr. Triven­dra Singh Rawat started “CM Dash Board’ scheme to mon­i­tor the work­ing, out­put and out­look of each de­part­ment.

The state gov­ern­ment in an­other boost to com­mon man has strength­ened the Right to Ser­vice Act adding 162 new ser­vices into the Right to Ser­vice Act to make sure ev­ery ci­ti­zen gets timely ben­e­fits of th­ese pub­lic ser­vices. The peo­ple can now reg­is­ter their com­plaints on toll-free num­ber 1905. In an­other mile­stone, the Trans­fer Act has also been im­ple­mented with an aim to bring trans­parency in the trans­fer of state gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees check­ing mal­prac­tices and cor­rup­tion in the sys­tem. The re­sults of all th­ese ini­tia­tives and ef­forts have started show­ing on the ground.

TOURISM

Ut­tarak­hand, pop­u­larly known as “Devb­hoomi” (the land of Gods), has abun­dant nat­u­ral re­sources. The na­ture has be­stowed the state with huge op­por­tu­ni­ties of tourism hav­ing 17 ma­jor moun­tain peaks, 51 colour­ful cul­tures, 89 small rivers, 111 pic­turesque lakes and ponds and 151 wildlife sanc­tu­ar­ies. The state is home to ‘Char Dham’ tem­ples of Badri­nath,

Kedar­nath, Gan­gotri and Ya­munotri, be­sides Harid­war and Rishikesh, one of the most revered Hindu places of pil­grim­age at­tract­ing lakhs of devo­tees ev­ery year from In­dia and abroad. The nat­u­ral land­scape of Ut­tarak­hand of­fers tourists a mo­saic of flavours in the shape of de­vo­tion, yoga, re­li­gion, cul­ture, spir­i­tu­al­ity, ad­ven­ture, river raft­ing, moun­taineer­ing, trekking and wildlife to­gether with scenic beauty of Hi­malayas with its pris­tine snowy peaks, salu­bri­ous mead­ows, gush­ing rivers and wa­ter­falls, rich flora and fauna with pi­ous Ganga and its’ trib­u­traies.

Fol­low­ing the 2013 nat­u­ral dis­as­ter, ‘Char Dhamy­a­tra’ has re­turned back to its’ past glory and the state gov­ern­ment has been work­ing over­time to en­sure all fa­cil­i­ties for the pil­grims by en­sur­ing their safety, se­cu­rity and well- be­ing. To get back the con­fi­dence of the pil­grims for ‘Char Dham’ ya­tra was a daunt­ing task after the un­prece­dented 2013 del­uge but de­spite all odds, the Triven­dra Singh Rawat gov­ern­ment suc­cess­fully man­aged last year’s ‘Char Dhamy­a­tra’ suc­cess­fully. The pres­ence of record num­ber of pil­grims dur­ing the open­ing of por­tals of Kedar­nath Dham on April 29, 2018 is a proof that pil­grims have re­posed their faith again in the state gov­ern­ment ef­forts and this year ‘Char Dhamy­a­tra’ is bound to cre­ate a record.

Last year, a to­tal of 24 lakh pil­grims took part in the ‘Char Dham’ and Hemkund Sahib ya­tra. The gov­ern­ment is ex­pect­ing that more than 40 lakh pil­grims are likely to visit th­ese places as con­nec­tiv­ity has been re­vamped and all kinds of fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing trans­port, med­i­cal ser­vices, board­ing and lodg­ing and food have been re­vamped. The gov­ern­ment has started he­li­copter ser­vices for both Char Dham and Hemkund Sahib. The gov­ern­ment has also taken sev­eral key mea­sures to en­sure that the pil­grims get all the ba­sic ameni­ties dur­ing their visit to the Hi­malayan pil­grim­age cen­tres.

Fol­low­ing the dis­as­ter that dev­as­tated Kedar­nath area, Prime Min­is­ter Mr. Naren­dra Modi has shown a keen in­ter­est in the re­con­struc­tion of the Kedar­nathd­ham. The Triven­dra Singh Rawat gov­ern­ment took it as a chal­lenge to com­plete the re­con­struc­tion of Kedarpuri within a stip­u­lated time.

De­spite the weather’s ad­verse con­di­tions, the con­struc­tion work is con­tin­u­ously go­ing on at the pil­grim­age cen­tre. As the sea­son of ‘Char Dhamy­a­tra’ has al­ready com­menced, the state gov­ern­ment has made fool proof ar­range­ments for the safe and se­cure travel and stay of the pil­grims.

Apart from re­li­gious tourism, the Triven­dra Singh Rawat has fo­cused to link the tourism ac­tiv­i­ties with the im­prov­ing the liveli­hood of the vil­lagers liv­ing in the hilly ar­eas. The state gov­ern­ment has launched “Home Stay” scheme with an aim to en­cour­age vil­lagers to im­prove fa­cil­i­ties in their homes to in­vite tourists.

In the bud­get pre­sented this year, it was an­nounced that in the next five years, 5,000 ‘Home Stays’ would be es­tab­lished. The gov­ern­ment is aim­ing to gen­er­ate self­em­ploy­ment at the lo­cal level with the help of ‘Home Stay’ pro­ject. Un­der the pro­posed ‘Home Stay’ pro­ject, the plan is to re­vive the vil­lages sit­u­ated near the ma­jor tourist des­ti­na­tions.

The va­cant homes in the vil­lages would be re­vamped and would put on of­fer for tourists to stay in the re­fur­bished vil­lages. On the ini­tia­tive of Chief Min­is­ter Mr. Triven­dra Singh Rawat, many youths from the state have al­ready started ‘Home Stay’ in their re­spec­tive houses and vil­lages.

The state gov­ern­ment is also work­ing on an am­bi­tious pro­ject to de­velop 13 new tourist des­ti­na­tions in 13 dis­tricts. The 13 new places are be­ing iden­ti­fied in 13 dis­tricts and th­ese new des­ti­na­tions would be theme-based. Th­ese tourist des­ti­na­tions would be de­vel­oped on the themes of ad­ven­ture tourism, wa­ter sports, yoga, Ayurveda and well­ness apart from scenic beauty.

In a move aimed at mak­ing the jour­ney of tourists trav­el­ling in hill sta­tions and re­li­gious places com­fort­able and save their time, the main tem­ples and tourists spots in the state are be­ing con­nected with rope­ways. The work of link­ing the Pur­na­giri Tem­ple of Ku­maon and the Surkada tem­ple of Garhwal with the rope­way is in progress. In ad­di­tion, there is a plan to start rope­way ser­vices be­tween Ya­munotri-kharsali, Govin­dghat-ghangaria and Guchu­pani-mus­soorie.

The Ut­tarak­hand gov­ern­ment is mak­ing spe­cial ef­forts to en­cour­age shoot­ing of movies along with tourism. Re­cently, the a Film

Pol­icy was ap­proved un­der which a friendly en­vi­ron­ment is be­ing pro­vided to the film pro­duc­ers for shoot­ing of their films.

For at­tract­ing more and more film­mak­ers, fees for film shoot­ing have been waived off .this has re­sulted in many big Bol­ly­wood pro­duc­ers com­ing to the state to shoot their films which in turn would bring eco­nomic ben­e­fits to the peo­ple of the state, in­clud­ing hote­liers and busi­ness­men. Since 2015, more than 100 films, TV se­ri­als, doc­u­men­taries, video al­bums, have been shot in Ut­tarak­hand so far. In or­der to en­cour­age the shoot­ing of films, the Chief Min­is­ter had him­self vis­ited on the sets of Shahid Kapoor and Shrad­dha Kapoor star­rer “Bat­tigul, Me­ter Chalu’ film in Tehri.

Im­pressed by the film pol­icy of Ut­tarak­hand, the Union Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion & Broad­cast­ing has con­ferred Spe­cial Men­tion Cer­tifi­cate for Film Friendly En­vi­ron­ment to Ut­tarak­hand un­der the “Most Film Friendly State Award 2017”.

The jury of pro­duc­ers/di­rec­tors has given this award to Ut­tarak­hand for try­ing to pre­pare a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for film shoot­ing. The jury has praised the ef­forts of Ut­tarak­hand that was a rel­a­tively new state with a dif­fi­cult ge­o­graph­i­cal ter­rain at the na­tional level.

IN­DUS­TRY AND IN­VEST­MENT

With more than 71 per cent geo­graphic ar­eas of Ut­tarak­hand hilly and forested, there are limited pos­si­bil­i­ties of hav­ing heavy in­dus­tries in the state. The State In­dus­trial Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion of Ut­tarak­hand (SIDCUL) has been tasked to bring in in­vest­ments in the state with plain ar­eas of Harid­war and Ru­dra­pur be­com­ing hubs of in­dus­trial ac­tiv­i­ties in the state. The state gov­ern­ment is also work­ing on the plans to at­tract in­vest­ments in small in­dus­tries as per the need of the state.

Ut­tarak­hand has tremen­dous po­ten­tial for in­vest­ing in tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity, well­ness tourism, ad­ven­ture tourism, food pro­cess­ing, hy­dropower, and aro­matic prod­ucts.

The Ut­tarak­hand gov­ern­ment has adopted a ‘Red Car­pet’ pol­icy for at­tract­ing in­dus­tries with a sin­gle win­dow clear­ance sys­tem in place for ac­cep­tance of in­vest­ment pro­pos­als in the state.

Since the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the in­vestor­friendly sys­tem, 460 in­vest­ment pro­pos­als worth Rs 2,500 crore have been ap­proved. The Chief Min­is­ter Mr. Triven­dra Singh Rawat has given clear in­struc­tions that all the peo­ple in­ter­ested in in­vest­ing in the in­ter­est of the state are wel­come. A new Start-up pol­icy has been im­ple­mented in the state to give a boost to the growth of self-em­ploy­ment and small en­trepreneurs in the state.

Pro­vid­ing a ma­jor re­lief to in­vestors, the state gov­ern­ment has re­laxed the norm for grant of per­mis­sion to pur­chase land for set­ting up new ven­tures in the state. Now, an in­vestor can get the per­mis­sion from dis­trict level only. Due to all th­ese re­forms, Ut­tarak­hand is the first state amongst the Hi­malayan states un­der Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness cat­e­gory. Surely, more and more in­vest­ments would come in Ut­tarak­hand in the fu­ture, which would gen­er­ate mil­lions of jobs here.

Chief Min­is­ter Triven­dra Rawat is leav­ing no stone un­turned as has taken key ini­tia­tives to at­tract in­dus­tries. Re­cently, the Chief Min­is­ter made his first for­eign tour to at­tract for­eign in­vestors. Dur­ing his re­cent visit to Thai­land, the Chief Min­is­ter not only vis­ited the in­dus­trial es­tab­lish­ments of the coun­try but also show­cased the huge op­por­tu­ni­ties of in­vest­ment in var­i­ous fields in Ut­tarak­hand be­fore the for­eign in­vestors and Thai in­dus­tri­al­ists.

Nearly 300 in­vestors at­tended the con­fer­ence on food pro­cess­ing and most of them ex­pressed their de­sire to in­vest in Ut­tarak­hand. In Bangkok, a road show was also or­ga­nized to at­tract in­vest­ments in tourism sec­tor in which 102 travel agen­cies par­tic­i­pated. For the po­ten­tial en­trepreneurs of Thai­land, there is tremen­dous po­ten­tial for in­vest­ment in food pro­cess­ing, tourism, ho­tel and hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor in Ut­tarak­hand.

Re­cently, Gover­nor of Bali (In­done­sia) I Made Mangku­pastika met the Chief Min­is­ter. Dur­ing the course of the meet­ing, the let­ter of in­tent was signed be­tween Bali and Ut­tarak­hand gov­ern­ment re­gard­ing tourism and cul­ture, e-gov­er­nance, hu­man re­sources and ca­pac­ity build­ing, en­vi­ron­ment and health. It is clear from th­ese de­vel­op­ments that Bali would also be in­ter­ested in in­vest­ing in Ut­tarak­hand in the near fu­ture.

Along with the big in­dus­tri­al­ists of the coun­try, for­eign com­pa­nies have also been in­vited to in­vest in Ut­tarak­hand. In this re­gard, Ut­tarak­hand In­vestor Meet would be held for the first time in Septem­ber-oc­to­ber this year. The gov­ern­ment is hop­ing a large num­ber of in­dus­trial in­vest­ments in Ut­tarak­hand. The Triven­dra Singh Rawat gov­ern­ment is work­ing zeal­ously to change the fate of the state and its’ peo­ple by at­tract­ing in­dus­tries and in­vestors.

On the oc­ca­sion of ‘Aapki rai–aapka bud­get’, Chief min­is­ter Triven­dra Singh Rawat in­ter­act­ing with women’s self-help group and the pub­lic

CM on the oc­ca­sion of Devb­hoomi di­a­logue CM ad­dress­ing peo­ple’s griev­ances

Meet­ing del­e­gates of Asian Devel­op­ment Bank

CM greet­ing Prime Min­is­ter of Nepal CM Triven­dra Singh Rawat visit to Thai­land at­tract­ing in­vestors

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