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Haridwar and US Nagar among country’s 115 most backward districts

The two ‘most prosperous’ plain area figure among the 115 most backward districts on health and education parameters in a survey conducted by the Niti Ayog

dehradun Updated: Dec 02, 2017 20:41 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,Most backward districts,Haridwar
Children at a worn out state-run primary school building at Khanpur in Haridwar.(HT Photo)

Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand are among the country’s 115 most backward districts, a survey has found prompting the state government to initiate steps to improve the “abysmal ratings” of those two districts.

“The two plain areas have figured among the 115 most backward districts on health and education parameters in a survey conducted by the Niti Ayog. The survey was conducted on the composite human development indices in some 650 districts in the country,” finance secretary Amit Negi said.

Negi said an action plan will soon be prepared for the two districts.

Incidentally, Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar are among the prosperous districts, being agriculturally rich besides being the only two big industrial hubs in the state.

For many, the survey results have come as a “shocking revelation,” considering that it is the 10 hill districts, most of which have been emptying out fast, that are widely seen as economically backward.

“The two plain districts are considered economically advanced in terms of indicators pertaining to the per capita income,” Negi said, adding that growth in a district “is, however, assessed” on the human development indices including education and health.

“It is on those (two) crucial parameters that the progress in the two plain districts has been abysmal, compared to the rest of the 11 districts, of which 10 are hill (districts),” he said.

Haridwar, for instance, has the “lowest literacy rate in the state” followed by Udham Singh Nagar. “Also, on the health facility criterion like the percentage of vaccination, or, the infant mortality rate, Haridwar’s ratings have been abysmal,” Negi said, adding that the situation in Udham Singh Nagar district was no different.

As a result, an action plan was being chalked out to improve ratings of the two districts. In fact, the Centre has already deputed two officials of the additional secretary and joint secretary ranks to monitor the preparation of the action plan. “These plans are being prepared under the supervision of two nodal officers deputed by the state government,” he said.

Principal secretary Anand Vardhan “is preparing the action plan for Udham Singh Nagar district whereas a senior officer of the same rank, Manisha Panwar, is preparing it for Haridwar.”

They would also liaise with the two central officials in preparing and executing the plan. “To ensure that the two action plans are executed properly they will also arrange for convergence of funds from the state run schemes as well as the centrally funded (schemes),” Negi said referring to the National Health Mission (NHM) and Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan.

First Published: Dec 02, 2017 20:41 IST