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Special S&T based development models needed from NITI Aayog for Himalayan States- CM

Monday, 08 August 2022 | PNS | Dehradun

Dhami requests that a special meet of Himalayan States presided by PM be held in U’khand

Chief minister Pushkar Dhami said that in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, the State government is working at a swift pace to make Uttarakhand a model State by 2025. Further, the NITI Aayog should prepare science and technology-based development models for the Himalayan States considering their specific aspects. He said this while attending the seventh meeting of the governing council of the NITI Aayog presided over by PM Modi in the national Capital on Sunday.

Dhami said that the NITI Aayog should prepare science and technology-based development models for the Himalayan States considering their ecology, population density, floating population and sensitive environment. A special meet for the Himalayan States should be organised under the leadership of PM Modi, he said, while requesting that the meet be held in Uttarakhand.

Eliciting focus on some important policy aspects of the State, Dhami said that the formulation of centrally funded schemes should be tailor-made considering its special geography instead of being based on the ‘one scheme fits all’ principle. The State will benefit considerably from schemes based on tourism, horticulture and aromatic plant cultivation. He also stressed on the need for starting an elaborate programme for the revival of streams which should include the construction of check dams and small reservoirs. The technical and financial assistance of the Centre will be needed for this. Dhami said, “Uttarakhand provides important ecosystem services to the nation. These ecosystem services should also be considered during the allocation of resources among the States.” He further said that the floating population in Uttarakhand exerts pressure on the infrastructural facilities. About 30 lakh people have undertaken the Char Dham Yatra so far this year while more than four crore Kanwadiyas have visited the State and these numbers are likely to continue rising. The form and financial resources of most local bodies in the State are quite limited, considering which the Central government should also consider this important aspect during the transfer of financial resources.

Informing about the development works in various areas, the CM said that there is immense scope for agriculture diversification in the State. The State is consistently encouraging the cultivation of various traditional crops, coarse grains, and aromatic and medicinal plants. The area under cultivation of apple and kiwi fruit along with food processing capacity is being expanded. Organic cultivation of millet and nutritious grains is being done on 38,500 hectares while the export of millet to Denmark has started from the State. To boost the aromatic sector, the PM laid the foundation for state-of-the-art laboratories and a centre of excellence for aromatic crops. An aroma park has been set up on a 40-acre area which will bring about Rs 300 crore investment and generate more than 5,000 jobs with the establishment of aromatic industries.

The CM also spoke of the initiatives taken in Uttarakhand in the spheres of animal husbandry and dairy. Stating that Uttarakhand is committed to the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP), he said that Bal Vatikas have been started in 4,457 co-located Anganwadi centres. Various programmes are being undertaken for the implementation of the new policy. To encourage online education, a central studio and virtual classrooms in 500 schools across the 13 districts have been established.  Dhami further informed that GIS and drone mapping are being used in the State’s local bodies for property measurements with master plans being prepared. Stating that parking space is a major issue due to a large number of people visiting Kedarnath, Badrinath and other religious and tourist destinations, the State has started work on underground/cavity parking in the mountains. This will not entail cutting off trees or the outer surface of the mountains which will prevent environmental damage in the construction of cavity parking, he added.

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