In recent years, the focus of Indian economic policy has shifted to issues of equitable growth. This implies that the economy should not only maintain the pace of growth but also extend the benefits of growth to all sections of the population and entire geographical regions of the country. This approach is particularly important for the hilly regions of the Uttarakhand, as this region constantly struggle with underdevelopment, even when the rest of the economy is doing well. Thus, it is important to find out the reasons for stagnation in the hilly regions of the state and make policies that can enable the state to achieve inclusive growth.
Inequality or regional imbalances can be defined by the several categories of indicators. Developments of transportation and communication services are the two important infrastructural indicators for the rural growth in recent time. The good access to transportation and communication services such as roads, railways, telephony and internet services are important requirement of the socio-economic development of rural areas.
Over the past fifteen years, technological advancements, telecommunication and automation have greatly contributed to economic growth all over the country. However, not all regions and people in the country have benefited equally from the opportunities that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) offer. The advantages of the information era have been lesser for remote areas, which often lack in favourable conditions for deployment of new technologies.
The Himalayan states are the custodian of the country’s borders and contribute largely to conservation of its culture, environment as well as security. To strengthen the prosperity and livelihood security of the Himalayan villages, there is a strong need for development of transportation and communication network. A developed communication and transportation network would not only benefit the states in terms of economy and tourism but would also facilitate fast movement of information, men and material in times of natural calamity and meet health, education and other basic needs of the local communities. The Hilly region of the state presents a dismal picture in terms of transportation and communication networks. This region has the lowest road, railway and communication density in the country. The mode of transport and communication are not developed to the desired level resulting in lack of economic and industrial development of this region. Inadequate connectivity have left many areas inaccessible and their great potential in forest products, cash crops, hydropower, animal husbandry and tourism remain unexploited. Good transport and communication network in the area can act as catalyst for socio-economic development of this region.
By – Assistant Professor – Dr. Rekha Dhanai
Department of Agriculture
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital