Young states push for growth, ignore environment
PRIME agricultural land in the fertile terai of Uttaranchal is being acquired to set up industrial estates in the districts of Udham Singh Nagar, Nainital and Haridwar. Mining and topsoil quarrying are compounding the problem of agricultural retreat in the terai and the hills.
Following its new industrial policy of 2003, Uttaranchal has achieved an impressive industrial growth rate of 18.18 per cent in 2006 compared to the national growth rate of 10.1 per cent. This is a quantum jump from the 1.9 per cent achieved between 1993 and 2000 by the districts that now comprise the state. Uttaranchal was separated from Uttar Pradesh in late 2000. Both the public and private sectors are involved in the industrial push. The State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttaranchal Ltd (sidcul) has been deployed, for instance, to acquire land and set up industrial estates, which it is doing at a fairly fast clip.The corporation has already established 152 heavy and medium-scale industrial units on fertile land in the terai-bhabar region of Haridwar, Sitarganj, Kashipur, Bajpur and the Rudrapur-Pant Nagar University belt in Udham Singh Nagar district. Private sector growth is also proceeding apace