Birth of a New State
Uttaranchal is the 27th state of the Republic of India. (total states being 28) It was formed on 9th Nov 2000 and was carved out of Uttar Pradesh after a long struggle of the Uttaranchali people. Uttaranchal lies in the Northern part of India amidst the magnificent Himalayas and dense forests. The state is bordering Himachal Pradesh in the north-west and Uttar Pradesh in the South and has international borders with Nepal and China.
The State today with 13 Districts can be grouped into three distinct geographical regions, the High mountain region, the Mid-mountain region and the Terai region. Dehradun is the interim-capital city. Uttaranchal consists of 13 districts viz., Almora, Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Bageshwar, Chamoli, Haridwar, Champawat, Nainital, Dehradun, Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag.
The city of Dehradun, has been declared as the interim capital of the new state. Though the debate on making Gairsain as the new capital is still on.
Dehradun is situated at the Himalayan foothills in the fertile Doon Valley. The valley is well known for its salubrious climate and natural beauty. It is due to this reason, Dehradun has been one of the favorite residential cities. It is also an important educational centres of the country. Some of the best public schools and convents are housed here.The Indian Military Academy, The Froest Research Institute, the Oil and Natural Gas comission and many more offices of Central and State Govt. are also situated here. Dehradun is one of the most important town in the new state and is well linked with rail, road and air routes to all the parts of the country.
The Divine Land
Words fail to describe the awesome charm and enchanting beauty of this magical land. The splendor and the beauty of the land is to be seen and and felt. Blessed with magnificent glaciers , sparkling and joyful rivers, gigantic and ecstatic Himalayan peaks, natural biospheres, valley of flowers, skiing slopes and dense forests, this abode of Gods includes many shrines and places of pilgrimage. Char-dhams, the four most sacred and revered Hindu temples: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are nestled in the Mighty Mountains.This is the land where Vedas and Shastras were composed and great Indian epic- The Mahabharath- was written. The land has always been the source of inspiration for nature lovers and seekers of peace and spirituality.
The population of the state is around 7 million. The land area is about 55,845 sq km. The region is mostly hilly (approx 88 percent) and the remaining 12 percent falls in the plains.The state is very rich in natural resources especially water and forests as it has many glaciers, rivers, forests, mountain peaks. The famous peaks of Uttaranchal are Nanda Devi, Kedarnath, Trishul, Bandarpunch and Mt Kamet. The major Glaciers include Gangotri, Pindari, Milam and Khatling. The Ganga, The Yamuna, Ramganga and Sharda are principal rivers of this region.
After being carved out of Uttar Pradesh,Uttaranchal has been richer in terms of wild-life and forest area. The thick forests and mountains house a variety of wild life and plant species. According to Chief Wild Life Warden, UP, Dr Ram Lakhan Singh, the total protected wildlife area of Uttaranchal would be 34,359 sq km, while Uttar Pradesh would be left with just half of that -17,259 sq km. Twelve areas- Nanda Devi national park, the valley of flowers, Gangotri national park, Govind national park, Rajaji national park, Kedarnath sanctuary, Ascod musk deer sanctuary, Mussoorie sanctuary, Binsar sanctuary, Sanadi sanctuary and Govind sanctuary are now looked after by Uttaranchal. The ecological zones likely to fall in Uttaranchal are upper Himalayas called the snow-bound zones, lower Himalayas and Shivaliks. All these zones support many rare plants and animal communities.
The state of Uttaranchal has tremendous potential of developing tourism industry due to the beautiful landscape, religious places, trekking trails, national parks, mountain peaks and historical and archeological sites. Apart from tourism, the rural population is engaged in agriculture. Doon Valley, Nainital district, Udham Singh Nagar and Haridwar districts produce large quantities of food grains. The state has immense potential for the development of horticulture crops-apple, orange, malta,pear, grapes peach, plum appricot, litchi,mango, guava etc are widely produced fruits. The region also holds good promises for developing herbal pharmaceutical industry owing to abundant medicinal plants. The industrial sector of state is insignificant. It is hoped that by development and proper exploitation of its natural resources, Uttaranchal can overcome its economic backwardness.
Due to its water resources the state has the capacity to generate many mega watts of power. Presently,it is producing 500 MW of power. There are 17 hydro-electric projects already producing electricity and many ambitious power projects including Tehri Dam are under construciton.