With expansion, Uttarakhand local bodies to face development challenges in 2018 | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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With expansion, Uttarakhand local bodies to face development challenges in 2018

The year 2018 will be full of challenges for the urban local bodies (ULBs) of Uttarakhand, which are currently undergoing expansion of their municipal limits

dehradun Updated: Dec 31, 2017 19:16 IST
Neha Pant
Urban local bodies of Uttarakhand will go to the polls in April 2018.
Urban local bodies of Uttarakhand will go to the polls in April 2018. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

The year 2018 will be full of challenges for the urban local bodies (ULBs) of Uttarakhand, which are currently undergoing expansion of their municipal limits.

The local bodies – most of which are cash-strapped and already struggling to maintain civic facilities in their existing areas – will be required to extend services to the newly incorporated rural areas as well this year, posing a development challenge for the authorities.

There are 92 ULBs in Uttarakhand and the state government is currently undertaking expansion of many of them by adding nearby rural areas in them.

In the state capital alone, 72 villages are being added to the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) limits, which is set to take the total number of its wards from 60 to 100.

As a result, an additional population of around 2.5 lakh residing in adjoining villages will be added to the DMC, more than doubling the total area under its dominion from 68 to 187 square kilometre.

Most villages located adjoining urban areas - especially in the four partially/completely plain districts of Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital - have undergone haphazard urbanization ever since the formation of Uttarakhand in 2000.

Witnessing a drastic boom in population and construction activities, their basic civic services and infrastructure, however, have failed to expand correspondingly - something which will now have to be tackled by the ULBs concerned.

“Most local bodies are not able to effectively take care of the civic needs like garbage disposal, streetlights, roads and drains of the areas that are already under them. It will certainly require a lot of time, extra efforts and a serious determination on the part of civic authorities to extend the facilities (to the newly added areas),” Abhishek Pant, head of Danda Lakhond, one of the 72 villages being added to the DMC limits, told HT.

When contacted, Vinod Kumar Suman, additional secretary (urban development), said detailed planning will be done to ensure that facilities were extended to new areas being added to the ULBs.

“Right now, the process of expanding urban areas is still going on. Once it is done, we will ask the respective ULB administrators to make a detailed road map of how new areas are to be catered to,” Suman told HT.

Earlier this week, the finance department released a sum of ₹138.55 crore for ULBs under the recommendations of the Fourth State Finance Commission.

The ULBs of Uttarakhand will go to the polls in April 2018.