DEHRADUN: After Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat purchased a 1300 sq metre land in Gairsain, the state's summer capital asserting that representatives of people and leaders should spearhead the reverse migration in the hilly areas, political commentators termed the move as a 'Masterstroke' to defang the opposition Congress in the state.
"I am a Bhumihar (landowner) of Gairsain now. We, the leaders of Uttarakhand should be spearheading the campaign of reverse migration to set and example. Our government has not forgotten the hills and the people of the hills," Rawat said.
Political commentator Yogesh Kumar said, "The CM has given the message to the people that he is not regular Uttarakhand politician who left the hills for comfortable life in Dehradun to never return again. Now the Congress party will have to work hard to look genuine and gain trust of the people."
The experts further added that the CM has seized the moment by initiating the move to which INC has no answers for now.
Jay Singh Rawat, another commentator said, "After making Gairsain the summer capital of Uttrakhand, he has again seized the initiative and left the Congress groping in dark. The opposition is now grappling with issues to question the goverment's integrity."
A report released by Uttarakhand Rural Development and Migration Commission last week stated that 10 years prior to 2018, around 32,000 people have migrated from the district’s 556 villages on a temporary basis while 14,289 people have migrated from 373 villages on a permanent basis. The report also points out that 42 per cent of the people who have migrated were in the 26 to 35 age group.
The report also recommended expansion in basic facilities such as roads, electricity, water supply, especially in remote and rural pockets, various measures to strengthen the rural economy, create employment avenues to check migration, to promote horticulture, promotion of tourism including its bordering areas with China, to train in various skill sets which can help them in finding employment and others.
According to the officials of the commision, detailed reports about four districts have been prepared including Tehri (June 2020), Almora (June 2019), Pithoragarh (October 2019) and Pauri (April 2018).
According to the commission, set up by Rawat in 2017 which released its survey report in year 2018 stated that between the duration of years 2007-2017, total 1,18,981 people from 3,946 gram panchayats migrated permanently, and 3,83,726 people from 6,338 gram panchayats shifted temporarily in search of work and find better life for themselves and their families.
Total 1702 villages in the state have become totally depopulated becoming 'Ghost Villages'. Total 565 villages are such which have lost more than half of their population to migration. However, a trend of coming back home was also registered in over 850 villages across the state.