Creation of four new districts not on priority list, says Prakash Pant
The Uttarakhand government has confirmed that it will create four new districts in state, taking the total number of districts to 17, but it won’t be done anytime soondehradun Updated: Mar 27, 2018 22:24 IST
The Uttarakhand government has confirmed that it will create four new districts in state, taking the total number of districts to 17, but it won’t be done anytime soon.
State finance minister Prakash Pant confirmed that the formation of new districts was not on the priority of the government. “The districts reorganization committee, which looks into the feasibility of the new districts, is yet to submit its report. Even if the report is submitted, it would take a long time to study the report and assess the feasibility,” Pant said.
On Monday, the last day of the six-day Budget Session at Gairsain, the government had in a reply to a query by BJP MLA from Didihat, Bishen Singh Chufal, said that four new districts will be created in the state in the near future. The new districts — Didihat and Ranikhet in Kumaon region and Yamnotri and Kotdwar in the Garhwal region — would be in addition to existing 13 districts.
Three of these four proposed districts are important politically. Didihat is represented by Bishen Singh who is the former state president of BJP. Ranikhet, currently represented by Congress’s Karan Mahara, was in 2012 represented by BJP state president Ajay Bhatt, and Kotdwar is represented by forest minister Harak Singh Rawat.
“Any decision on creating the new districts will be taken once the report is received and analysed on parameters including economic viability,” Pant said.
The move to carve out new districts is likely to set open the Pandora’s box for the government. BJP MLA from Kashipur, Harbhajan Singh Cheema, has said that the Kashipur has the strongest claim so far as creation of new districts is concerned. “It would have to be carved out along with the other four proposed districts. It will lead to big struggle if Kashipur is ignored,” Cheema said.
He also pointed out that Kashipur was viable as a district as it had good agricultural production as well as industries that have generated employment opportunities.
It may be noted that in December 2011, the Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ government had approved the formation of four new districts following the borders were to be earmarked. Later controversies arose over the selection of the district headquarters after which a district reorganization committee was set up which was asked to prepare a report.
People of Khatima, Haldwani, and Ramnagar too have been demanding that their respective areas being declared as districts.