Decentralised Approach Necessary For The New State
For the all round development of the state of Uttaranchal, I think and firmly believe, a decentralised approach is necessary. The two main reasons being the job issue and the pressure on the infrastructure, which has a tremendous impact on the environment. In fact, each district should be given a basic source of providing jobs. The uneven development of districts will result in the major dilemma which faces our nation -- how to divide and distribute the wealth. The creation of the Uttaranchal state stems from the neglect of its people. Therefore, any scheme, which does not address this issue carefully, will result in no change.
Change is what people expect and that is what they should get -- undoubtedly for the better. A good infrastructure to help all districts in Uttaranchal to be linked to the hinterland where the buying power lies should be one of the top priorities. Uttaranchal should not look at trading within its boundary, as has been the practice for ages. The valley people trading with the people from the hills and the plains. We have to go beyond because there is wealth, which has to be bought back to Uttaranchal. To believe that the Central government is going out to bail the state is a fallacy which should be broadcast loudly and clearly. It is the people who will create wealth and make the state richer. For that to happen, we must create a department for marketing in the state government. This department should together with the businesses in the state work out a strategy on how the state will produce and sell goods and services and where money state money will be invested.
The future of Uttaranchal is in the hands of its people and not in the hands of the IAS officers and ministers. Let entrepreneurship and business prosper in the new state by giving that initiative and control to the people. The function of the state government then becomes to take measures to secure this and upon which the prosperity of the people depends. The concentration of government departments in one area will put such a pressure on the city’s infrastructure and services that these may become paralysed or inefficient. Pouring money into inefficient systems should be avoided. Dehradun will become a slum if it is to remain the capital of Uttaranchal.
Stockholm, October 2001