Home Minister V.S. Acharya said on Saturday that more importance should be given to the tertiary sector in the district.

He was speaking after releasing the Udupi District Human Development Report, 2008 here.

Dr. Acharya said that the economy of the district could no longer depend on the “money orders” sent by people who had migrated to other places. It was necessary to promote sectors other than agriculture. Industrial development should be promoted taking into account environmental concerns, he said.

Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha said that according to the report, Udupi taluk was ahead in income, education and general development sectors, followed by Kundapur and Karkala taluks. But in the health sector, Karkala was in the forefront, followed by Kundapur and Udupi. This was surprising because there were more hospitals in Udupi taluk than in the two other two taluks, she said.

Although the district as a whole was in a good position in reproductive care and child health, it had to do a lot in preventing communicable and non-communicable diseases. The infant mortality rate in the district was comparable to the rate in western countries, Ms. Hemalatha said.

Area of concern

The district was in the yellow zone with regard to HIV/AIDS. The rate of suicide in the district was comparable to the situation in Kerala, which had the highest rate in the country. This warranted action towards improving mental health and preventing suicides.

The district was in the sixth place in the State in per capita income, but it was in the 17th place when it came to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The district's growth rate was only 4 per cent compared to 7 per cent for the State.

Though the contribution of agriculture to the GDP of the district had declined from 31 per cent to 21 per cent, the number of people depending on agriculture remained the same. Importance should be given to cash crops.

It was necessary to give importance to high schools, ITIs and job-oriented courses in the district, which had a highly skilled manpower, Ms. Hemalatha said.

MLAs Raghupati Bhat and Lalaji Mendon and president of the zilla panchayat Gladys Almeida were present.

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