Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat. (@tsrawatbjp)
Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat. (@tsrawatbjp)

Impractical: Cong, experts on Gairsain as U'khand's new administrative division

  • The declaration was made by the CM in his budgetary speech on March 4 under which the new division would comprise four districts.
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:41 AM IST

Uttarakhand government's decision to declare the state summer capital of Gairsain as the third administrative division in the state after Garhwal and Kumaon has started receiving flak from the opposition and experts who have termed the move "needless and impractical."

The declaration was made by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat in his budgetary speech on March 4 under which the new division would comprise four districts including Chamoli and Rudraprayag from Garhwal division and Almora and Bageshwar from Kumaon division out of total 13 districts in the state.

Senior Congress MLA Govind Singh Kunjwal raised the question on the decision on Friday during the speech in the house on the state budget.

Criticising the decision, he said, "The move was not only surprising but shocking as nobody had demanded it. It is a completely needless and useless decision as the new division is of no use to the common man."

Also read: Chamoli tragedy - Month later, rescue continues; experts say 'no lessons learnt'

He said, "The new division would host a divisional commissioner and a deputy inspector general of police. The common man hardly visits these two senior officers as most of their works are related to the district magistrate office or the office of the superintendent of police. Instead of a division, Gairsain should have been declared a new district."

The decision also didn't go down well with the experts.

State-based Padma Shri awardee and renowned historian Shekhar Pathak said the decision was "not needed at all."

"After declaring Gairsain as a new division, the government will now spend money on setting up of offices for the divisional commissioner and the DIG which is of no use to the residents of the place. Instead, if they should have made announcements for the development of the infrastructure which would have been more beneficial to the public," said Pathak.

Apart from the Opposition, members of the ruling party, including some cabinet ministers also expressed their unhappiness on the move, saying, "The CM didn't consult the Cabinet before making the declaration in the House which was shocking to us."

"This would have a major political impact, especially in the Kumaon division as Almora district is considered the cultural capital of Kumaon. But now after the district has been included in the new division, people there would be angry that it will no longer be in Kumaon," said the minister adding, "this would have major repercussions in the 2022 elections."

He said, "Similarly, the people of Pauri Garhwal district, which hosts the Garhwal division headquarters, would also be angry as the new division has snatched Rudraprayag and Chamoli from it. The people are already not happy that despite being the Garhwal division headquarters, the divisional commissioner sits in his camp office in Dehradun, and now the CM made this decision."

The government however refuted the criticism and said the decision would speed up the development of Gairsain as the summer capital.

"The new division would greatly help in the development of the summer capital which would put it in the state map with much more significance," said minister and government spokesperson Madan Kaushik.

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