Improved connectivity and emerging micro-entrepreneurial opportunities in Uttarakhand are helping reverse the century-old trend of villagers from the Himalayan state migrating downhill to the plains in search of livelihood, state Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat told UNI here on Wednesday.
The Migration Commission set up by the state government is due to publish the results of a statewide survey later this month and there are some indications that the downhill migratory trend might be getting reversed, Rawat said. All 16,000 plus revenue villages in the state have been covered by the survey.
On the sidelines of 'India: Your Destiny, Your New Destination' seminar organised for Thai businesses by Bangkok and Indian Embassy, Rawat attributed this largely to improved road connectivity in the state resulting from former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s initiative to link all villages to all-weather roads as well as premier Narendra Modi’s nationwide scheme to take irrigation to every farm and improve farm water use efficiency.
At the same time, the Uttarakhand government has been promoting tourism entrepreneurship among local communities. A state initiative to encourage home-stays in the villages is becoming popular with the government providing financial support and subsidised electricity to house owners to add guest rooms.
Tourism is a major economy driver in Uttarakhand which draws some 30 million visitors every year, three times the state's population. The sector has notched an impressive compound annual growth rate of 5.03 pc over the past decade and is projected to grow at 7% over the next ten year period. (UNI)