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Migration leaves behind ‘ghost villages’ in Uttarakhand

Governor underlines need to create job opportunities

November 10, 2014 12:27 am | Updated 12:27 am IST - Dehradun:

Houses in Chamoli district's Lata village, where 85 out of 150 families have permanently left the village. Photo: Kavita Upadhyay

Houses in Chamoli district's Lata village, where 85 out of 150 families have permanently left the village. Photo: Kavita Upadhyay

After issues related to rebuilding the State in the wake of the June 2013 natural calamity, migration from villages due to lack of development has emerged as a major concern.

Chief Minister Harish Rawat, speaking at a function to mark the 14th foundation day on Sunday, said people were migrating in search of work, leaving in their wake “ghost villages.”

Endorsing this view, Governor Aziz Qureshi said: “The villages in the State, where 70 percent of the [1.01 crore] population resides, are devoid of basic necessities like healthcare and education. This is causing large-scale migration.”

Dr. Qureshi said job opportunities must be created to stop this. Considering this trend, the State’s 12th Five Year Plan document says: ‘This [migration] reflects the absence of livelihood opportunities in the hills and yearning for a better quality of life. Dissatisfaction with jobs/lack of opportunities [is] creating demographic substitution in the hill region.’

Speaking to the media, recently, Mr. Rawat had said that the State had formulated new policies to address the issue of healthcare and education in the remote areas. These measures would stem migration from the hill districts and encourage migrants to return, he had said.

Reviving agricultural practices, fencing villages, and development of meadows would be done, Mr. Rawat had said.

“[In the years to come] there will be a drastic change in the agronomy of the hill areas. This is the Congress government’s action plan against migration and it will be executed on a war footing.”

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