Uttarakand CM asks officials to evaluate the possibility to develop Gairsain as a full-fledged township | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Uttarakand CM asks officials to evaluate the possibility to develop Gairsain as a full-fledged township

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has directed officials to submit a complete report on the possibilities of developing Gairsain as a “full-fledged” township amid the growing demand that the state’s centrally located hill town be named as a permanent capital

dehradun Updated: Feb 23, 2018 22:23 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand news,Gairsain,permanent capital
A view of Gairsain town. (HT File Photo.)

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has directed officials to submit a complete report on the possibilities of developing Gairsain as a “full-fledged” township amid the growing demand that the state’s centrally located hill town be named as a permanent capital.

“The chief minister has asked the district magistrate (Chamoli) to submit a report on the possibilities of developing Gairsain as a full-fledged township,” CM’s media-coordinator Darshan Singh Rawat said.

Asked if the move was a step towards commissioning Gairsain as the state’s permanent capital, Darshan Singh said, “You are free to draw conclusions.”

Darshan Singh preferred ambivalence when asked if the move had been initiated under pressure from the agitation by the local youth. “There will always be a pressure but the government will take a decision only after evaluating all aspects,” he said.

A permanent capital has eluded Uttarakhand even 17 years after its formation. People, particularly the Paharis (highlanders), have been demanding that Gairsain be named as a permanent capital. The highlanders feel that a permanent capital in a mountainous area like Gairsain will also pave the way for development in the long neglected hills.

The BJP and the Congress, that have been alternately ruling the state since its formation, have avoided taking a call on the issue. They fear that commissioning Gairsain as a permanent capital might end up evoking a strong backlash from the people in the plains.

The Congress, however, gave wings to the highlanders’ hope for a permanent capital when former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna decided to set up a Vidhan Bhawan at Gairsain. His successor Harish Rawat pushed for the project and also held a couple of assembly sessions there. The then Congress government had also passed a resolution in the assembly in 2016 that the next budget session would be held at Gairsain. The BJP government that replaced the Congress in 2017 has announced to hold the budget session at Gairsain from March 20.

Darshan Singh said the very fact that the BJP government has decided to convene the budget session at Gairsain “shows that the chief minister is serious about the people’s sentiment.”

According to him, Gairsain could be developed as a township by Gairsain Vikash Parishad. “The chief minister has sought the report from the district magistrate concerned so that the hill town and its surrounding areas could be equipped with all required facilities,” Darshan Singh said.

First Published: Feb 23, 2018 22:22 IST