Divya Himachal Logo May 24th, 2017


Roads Key To Himachal’s Development

newsY.S. Rana

The writer is a Hamirpur based Himachali settled in Chandigarh

newsHimachal Pradesh is the first hill state that realises the importance of roads as a catalyst of economic transformation and has a different story to tell. Undercurrents of change can be witnessed across the state and the agent of this sea-saw change is road network. While the building blocks of ‘inclusive growth’ were put in place in 90s, the cumulative impact of policies and factors became evident with the onset of 21st century. Planners and policy makers realised that roads were the backbone for high and equitable growth and can make the state an out performer. First chief minister Dr Y. S. Parmar had always repeated at all meetings “paharon mein sirf sadak de do, rajya ka vikas apne aap ho jayega” (provide roads in the hills development in the state will follow on its own). Roads have made one of the most backward hill states as the most impressive model of development in the country. Himachal is an example of that how getting the road development priorities right in the first place could turn out to be the key driver to fast-track growth. And if hill state at present stands out as a state that has outperformed its potential both in physical and social development, it is not merely a flash in the pan but it has been achieved by constructing roads.

The state tourism now is singing a different hospitality tune. There has been a surge in the number of tourists coming to the state. Notably, during the first four Five-year Plans up to 43%  was spent on building roads and in fifth, sixth and seventh Five-year Plans, power sector became the priority and state achieved 100% rural electrification and heading towards 100% road connectivity. The neighbouring states have yet to achieve the targets.

Road connectivity to tribal areas is one of the major steps taken by the state government for its economic development. Due to poor accessibility, these areas remained unknown to outside world and isolated from rest of the state. Kinnaur was opened with construction of national highway in 1960 and with addition of link roads. Lahaul was made accessible with construction of Rohtang Pass.

60% Villages Connected

From having just 288 kilometres of roads in 1948, the state today has a road network of 25,399 kilometres metaled roads with road density of over 61% per square km of area. There are nine national highways with total length of 1250 kilometres over 60 major district roads with total length of 1754 kilometres. Over 60% of the villages have been provided road connectivity. The state has 17,449 villages and so far 10,350 villages have been connected with metalled roads.

More Connectivity In Lahaul & Spiti

As per official records, Bilaspur tops the list of road connectivity of villages. Over 72% of its villages have been connected with roads while Kinnaur district has the lowest road connectivity of villages at 26.61%. Lahaul and Spiti district has more village road connectivity (44.72%) compared to Shimla—state capital—which has road connectivity of 44.6%. With road connectivity enabled, it allowed the state government to invest 45% of the eighth and ninth plan budgets on schools, health and rural water supply.

Target For 2017-18

While speaking to Himachal This Week R.K. Verma, Chief Engineer, who looks after World Bank road projects in the state, said that nine projects out of 10 initiated by the World Bank assistance have been completed. He said the World Bank had sanctioned a loan of Rs 281 million in 2007 for expansion of road network in the state. Of this amount, 90% has been spent. He further revealed that over 4,000 kms road would be converted to double-lane. The department has a target to construct 1800 kms road in 2017-18. He admitted that road network made the state to outperform in literacy, per capita income, healthcare, industrial, agriculture growth and left its neighbouring States behind.


The state’s ups and downs this week

Himachal Least Corrupt State in India

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has been rated as the least corrupt state in the country with only 3% households experiencing corruption in public services, said a report by CMS-India Corruption Study 2017. In Himachal Pradesh, 53% respondents during 2005 study had said to have experienced corruption which has now come down to 3%. When general perception of households about corruption in public service during 2016 was checked in Himachal Pradesh, 16% respondents said that corruption has increased, 58% said it had decreased. Karnataka leads the pack with most corrupt activities (77%) followed by Andhra Pradesh (74%), Tamil Nadu (68%), Maharashtra (57%), J&K (44%) and Punjab (42%). The survey covered 20 states and recorded the three lesser corrupt states based on households ‘experiencing corruption in public services’ as Himachal Pradesh (3%), followed by Kerala (4%) and Chattisgarh (13%).

HRTC RM Nabbed With Synthetic Drugs

Shimla: A Regional Manager of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) and two others were arrested in Shimla with 4.4 kg of synthetic drugs (chitta) worth Rs 2.5 crore in the international market. The Shimla Police stopped Mohinder Rana’s official vehicle at Shoghi check post andfound the drugs during search, a police official said. State Transport Minister G S Bali said that Rana has tarnished the image of the corporation and has been suspended with immediate effect. Rana has been suspended in the past also but then the BJP- ruled state government had reinstated him in 2008. The police also arrested two persons, Vikas and Rajiv, who were travelling along with Rana. Bali said that it is a very serious matter and a thorough probe will be ordered into the matter.

विवाह प्रस्ताव की तलाश कर रहे हैं? निःशुल्क रजिस्टर करें !

May 6th, 2017


From the Editor’s Desk

Electoral Uncertainity Himachal government again took certain decisions to woo beneficiaries before the Bharatiya Janata Party’s programme at Palampur. Virbhadra government is taking every decision to satisfy people in a bid to prove itself. Decisions to satisfy aspirations of employees indicate that such decisions will […] विस्तृत....

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End Of Kejriwal Era In Sight

End Of Kejriwal Era In SightProf N.K. Singh Former Chairman International Airports Authority of India Indian politics witnessed the rise of a star and similar meteoric fall of Arvind Kejriwal and his creation Aam Aadmi Party with its own jhadu symbol. Greatest hope of change in Indian politics turned out […] विस्तृत....

May 6th, 2017


Himachal’s Schools Need Music Teachers

Himachal's Schools Need Music TeachersDr. Rajesh K. Chauhan (The writer is a music teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Subathu) Music free society can never be a civilised and prosperous. The study of developed and rich ancient civilisations prove that music education was mandatory for a civilised society. In ancient India, […] विस्तृत....

May 6th, 2017


Growing Demand For Liquor Ban

Growing Demand For Liquor BanJianand Sharma (The writer is based at Shimla) Increasing voices in favour of liquor ban are pointing towards a revolution. Some people might have memories of anti-arrack movement started in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh that had ousted the then state government. Dubagunta Rosamma, the […] विस्तृत....

May 6th, 2017


Readers’ Response

Himachali Wrestlers Neglected This is regarding Himachal This Week’s cover story of April 22,  2017, “Himachali Wrestlers Neglected”. Wrestling competitions are organised in almost every village in lower areas of the state. However, it is also a fact that organisers invite known wrestlers from neighbouring […] विस्तृत....

May 6th, 2017


Ugly Side Of War

Ugly Side Of WarKuldeep Nayar (The writer is a veteran Indian journalist, author and noted columnist.) War is ugly. It becomes uglier when it is between two inveterate neighbours. They go to any extent to harm and humiliate each other. Pakistan has mutilated and killed two Indian soldiers […] विस्तृत....

May 6th, 2017


Tempers Run High With Bickering In Political Parties

Political Analysis Himachal This Week After all the Congress is going for organizational elections after long and the democratic roots seem shaken with conflicts and aspirations. The party that has been ruled by the dynasty has to show its flimsy democratic face through the drive […] विस्तृत....

May 6th, 2017


Khalsa Club Amritsar Wins Football Tourney

Khalsa Club Amritsar Wins Football TourneyHimachal This Week Khalsa Club, Amritsar team emerged victorious in the 29th All India Shahid Durga Mal Dal Bahadur Football Tournament held at Police Ground in Dharamshala. The final match was played between Khalsa Club, Amritsar and 11 GRCC, Lucknow teams, in which former thrashed […] विस्तृत....

May 6th, 2017


‘Regulated Hemp Cultivation Needed’

'Regulated Hemp Cultivation Needed'More than 85% of the molecules derived from Hemp are imported, a huge direct loss for Indian economy Dr Vikram Sharma (The writer hails from Ghumarwin and is a Member of Coffee Board of India ) Governments of Himachal Pradesh as well as other hill […] विस्तृत....

May 6th, 2017

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