â€œThe Abode of snowâ€? is what describes Himachal Pradesh. It is a state in Northern India spread over 21,495 sq mi (55,670 km2), and is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttarakhand on the south-east. Himachal is one of the classic examples of rapid transformation from the worst form of feudalism to democracy and from the most backward part of the country to one of its most advanced states. The economy of the state is highly dependent on three sources: hydroelectric power, tourism and agriculture. The state took its name from Himalayas, it is a hilly and mountainous region, five perennial rivers Satluj, Yamuna, Chenab, Beas and Ravi flow through it. Still state has loop holes in its laws and policies which are hindrance to the state socio-economic development. At present, the State of Himachal Pradesh does not have any Environmental Policy of its own. The objective is to develop sustainable development approaches in Himalayas, which take into account the special features of mountains. Sustainable development means "meeting the needs of present generation without compromising the needs of future generations". The factors which determine progress of the state are per capita income, female literacy rate, medical and health facilities, infrastructure Himachal Pradesh still have to travel long path in fight against women empowerment and upliftment, industrial development, health facilities, efficient use of natural resources. The current policies and steps I would take as chief minister of state are discussed below: 1.) INDUSTRIAL DEVELPOMENT: Industrial potential is one of the least in India. It is less because of remote location, geographical constraints, and difficult terrain. The state continues to be industrially backward despite vast natural resources endowment and availability of cheap hydel power. Through the successive industrial policies and other investor friendly measures, the state has been striving to accelerate the flow of investment into industrial sector. It has also been extremely conscious about attracting more investment into the backward areas with the aim of achieving equitable development of the state due to geographical factors the industrialisation is concentrated in the border areas of H.P, Paonta Sahib, kala amb, Baddi-Nalagarh etc. the existing facilities are inadequate to meet requirement of new investment. This is major reason for brain-drain and lack of employment in state. Actions and solution: a.) Provision of incentives for eco-friendly industries. Inclusion of small scale industries of environmental clearance, resources of development need to be channelized b.) Concessions in taxes and levies should be rationalised and simplified c.) Foreign investments need to be promoted and will provide foreign technology tie-ups with local industries. d.) More emphasis on Infrastructure which is the most essential requirement for entrepreneurs 2.) WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AND UPLIFTMENT In 2001 every 7 out of 10 females were illiterate. A hill women's life is extremely busy from early morning to late evening and sometimes even till late at night. They work side by side with men in agriculture and their role is as important in the field as at home. After house hold chores of looking after the children and cooking, women are usually away from their homes most of
the day collecting grass, leaves or firewood or tending animals in the forests. Himachal has one of best sex ratios and literacy rates but still Domestic violence, dowry system,education and employment are issues concerned. Actions and solution: a.) One out of four Lok Sabha seats must be reserved for women eg- haryana having 33% reservation. b) Speedy disposal of cases against women c) Special drive for education of women and girl children belonging to SC and ST. d) Need to educate society and to change their view point for women Women can be oriented and motivated in to be engaged in social forestry activities, which will provide income and help them become self dependent, promoting ecology on other hand. As you think, so shall you become, rightly said by Bruce Lee, suggests us we need to change our thinking towards women. At first we need to change ourselves rather than blaming others 3.) HEALTH: Health is an important factor in determining the social-economic development of state. Morbidity and mortality profile of population shows that communicable disease constitute a predominant and formidable health problem in the state. The very factors responsible for most of the morbidity and mortality profile in H.P. emerge out lack of awareness and sanitation facilities, low socioeconomic status, scant regard for local bye-laws etc. The state has a total of 4,829 cases of HIV as of Dec 1, 2010, including 1,145 cases of AIDS. Actions and solutions: Vehicular pollution need to be controlled vigorously a) Ban on burning of coal during office hours b) Need to follow anti-smoking instructions and ban on tobacco and drugs c) All towns should be covered with planned sewerage system in a phased manner. Priority of course, has to be given to those towns having more tourist influx, increased population and prevalence of waterborne disease d) Awareness campaigns and free camps for AIDS should be held 4.) TRANSPORT: Transport is lifeline of the state. Roads contribute to more than 90 percent transportation. Due to hilly topography and difficult weather conditions the condition is not too good. We should take example from Switzerland who have developed extensive network of trains through mountains and underground all weather favourable roads. Travel during night time is a tough task due to shortage of buses. H.R.T.C department need to be more transparent. Buses keep going off the road regularly. The Chief Minister expresses grief and his transport minister expresses shock every time there is a bus accident. Overcrowding and music in buses is main issue. 5.) TOURISM: Himachal Pradesh has been a traditional tourist destination. This fact has its root in the environmental features of the State. Tourism has also been a major developmental thrust area of the State
Actions for promoting tourism: a) Need to develop new circuits and destinations in the State b) Promotion of adventure tourism e.g. skiing, water sports, hang gliding and para gliding and heliskiing c) Better transport and facilities at tourist destinations 6.) LAND AND WATER: Land is the prime resource of the State. Encroachments on the forest land must be dealt with the removed. Only 11 % of land is under cultivation. Use of pesticides should be banned and fertilizers, bio-pesticides have to be promoted. Drinking water supply poses a major problem in the state. . Because of high altitude terrain and undulating topography drinking water is mainly obtained from streams.Use of rainwater harvesting and efficient use of water resources are need of hour. 7.) CORRUPTION: Himachal is one of least corrupt state in India. Still corrupton levels have increased. A state like Himachal has 43 departments, numerous boards, corporations and commissions to run the state.This means more departments and bureaucrats to support them. We all need to understand that corruption breeds from the Top. If the boss is honest, he will not tolerate dishonest business under him.Implementing and bringing new laws help at least .05 % or even less. Each and every person should understand his responsibility towards nation and work honestly towards development of country. In my vision these are few actions and solutions that can be taken for rise in development in these areas
Published on Mar 4, 2013
If you were the chief minister of your state what actions/policies/strategies would you undertake to deal with the problems persisting in yo...