I have tried to summaries the debate of Parliament on Himalayan issue.Pl correct language and add to comments and additional information on this issue. Write on alternate vision of development of Himalayan region attached discussion doc.
Himalaya Niti Abhiyan
Brief on Lok Sabha debate on the issue of creation of new Ministry
for the development of Himalayan States.
Dr. Ramesh Pokhrial Nishank (Haridwar)
Dr. Ramesh Pokhrial Nishank MP from Haridwar moved a private member resolution regarding the creation of new ministry for the development of Himalayan states on dated 11 July 2014 in Lok Sabha and was discussed on 11 and 18 July 2014. In favour of the move Seventeen MPs participated in the debate and more than 40 MPs supported the resolution.
Dr. Nishank in his resolution said that due to strategic geographic
condition natural calamities and disasters takes place in the region
which causes lose of life and property. Hence urged independent
Central ministry for the region considering the socoi-economic
backwardness of the region, particularly Utrakhand.
He focused on four main issues:
1. Identification of backward areas in Himalayan states and protection
and holistic development.
2. Special financial package for the development of backward areas
particularly bordering areas.
3. Effective measures shall be taken to control cross boarder
infiltration particularly in Utrakhand.
4. Recommend concerned central ministries for laying new railway lines, establishment of Hydro electric Projects, construction of roads, infrastructural development projects; establish industries
based on Himalayan resources for providing economic strength so that migration be checked.
He also referred SZ kasim committee report and says that the
conclusion of study was to form a Himalayan development authority
under the chairmanship of PM and separate ministry be formed with
three ministerial berth.
Next main highlights of his speech-
Difficult geographical conditions causes disasters ; so separate
ministry different policy is needed to tackle the situation.
it is boarding area hence is strategically very important.
Himalaya is water tower of Asia but water discharge is decreasing due to glaciar melt. He stressed for the conservation and renewal of
Himalaya. It also provides forest produces.
Banpanchayts in Utrakhand protect forest and care like their child.
What they are not getting their rights. FCA 1980 has lessen the rights and further compelled people to migrate. Hence people are becoming enemy of forest instead of protector. So we need a separate policy for Himalaya.
Himalaya is capital of spiritualism. World first university was in
Utrakhand known as Badrish Vishwavidyalya under chancellorship of Ved Beas. Sanskrit took birth here which is the origin of all languages. He talk about rivers and Ganga particularly known for it sanctity and demanded its protection and renewal.
He talked about niche of the region saying that Himachal and Kashmir produces quality apple, miraculous flower Brahmkamal and many amassing flowers grows here. Himalaya is There are many mines of Gold, copper, and mica sulfur, magnesium, thorium.
He said that issue of formation of trans Himalayan development
authority was discussed in 2004 but why process is stalled.
He in last para said that Himalaya youth stand in first row to
defended boarder by sacrificing their lives for the nation.
Himalaya is first class of environment in our country, so I request for
formation of a ministry for these 11 states which will frame policies
to to protect tradition and culture and enhances the development in
HON. CHAIRPERSON (SHRI ARJUN CHARAN SETHI): Motion moved:
“Having regard to the strategic geographical condition as well as
location of the Himalayan States, which causes landslides, cloudburst, earthquakes, hailstorms and other natural calamities every year resulting in huge loss of lives and property and taking into account the socio-economic backwardness of these States, particularly the State of Uttarakhand, this House urges upon the Government to form an independent Union Ministry for Himalayan States, which shall be responsible for the overall and speedy development of these States and
in particular perform the following functions–
(i) to identify backward areas of Himalayan States and ensure their
overall development and conservation;
(ii) to provide special financial package for development of backward
areas particularly, border areas;
(iii) to take effective measures to check cross border infiltration,
particularly in the State of Uttarakhand; and
(iv) to recommend to the Union Ministries concerned for laying of new Railway lines, establishment of hydro power projects, construction of roads and other infrastructural development projects and to strengthen economy by setting up of industries based on natural resources available in the Himalayan States to prevent migration.”
Other speaker ( Brief Note of speeches)
Prof.Saugat rai (DamDam)
Commented that if ministry may formed then Nishak ji may get place in to it. I shall call Himalaya area instead of Himalayan state because Darjling also fall in to this region. He commented on the term used “strategic geographical condition”
Raised the issue of tectonic plates and earth quakes in the region and stressed to consider this and a proper study on flood plans and
tectonic plates be under taken so that it may be established that how much construction shall be allowed. Other wise Himalaya will be danger and we are waiting for a disaster to happen.
De-forestation has taken place. Instead of referring Baba Ram Dev in Resolution speech who have nothing to do with preservation of Himalaya and have just started selling Ayurvedic medicines from Haridwar ashram.
Prof. Saugat referred the contribution of Sunder lal Bahuguna and
Chipko Andolan in this regard.
He suggested that ministry of Himalayan affairs shall be formed
instead of ministry of Himalayan state development which shall account every thing -geological needs, environment needs, water needs and power needs to make a holistic plan for Himalaya.
Himalaya can be biggest source of Hydro electric power in the world. We have one dam in Tehri and one in Himachal but hundreds of such mini hydro projects can be built. Himalaya will be ideal for modern industries such as computer and electronics.
He stressed on the need of infrastructure and other facilities. I
support resolution but drop Hindutva and Ram Dev. lets come to gather-Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and christian and make a Deva-atama Himalaya cell.
Perm Das Rai (Sikkim)
He supported the motion and talked about environmental issue in
general. Expansion of railway and eco tourim in a sustainable way
considering environmental condition will be good.
Ninong Iring (Arunachal)
If Nishak ji had been moved this bill as an official bill from
government which might have been a big development for Himalayan people, even thou we support this move.
Arunachal have capacity of generating 55000 MW Hydro Electric Power, development in this sector is not taking place because of poor transport infrastructure. We have petroleum, coal but extraction is difficult because of this. Transport facility is priority such as rail, road and airways. There are tourism and religious tourism potentialities in the region.
supported the move of forming ministry pointing out three issue 1.
coordination of holistic fast development, 2. implementation and
monitoring of central plans, 3. lessen the impact of natural
Raised issue of global warming and glacier melt and its impacts,
possibility of earth quake, cloud burst and water sources are drying
up. One lakh MW HEP can be generated form Himalayan rivers but could not explored in a proper way. We can generate energy and utilize natural resources of Himalaya benefiting people of hole nation.
Bhatruhari Mahtab (Cuttack)
All states are already getting special category status and what better financial package would be there.
I would like to repeat a point for not only drawing the attention of
the House but also to put it across the Government, that is, he had
addressed a Press Conference held in State Party office where Major General (Retd.) Khanduri had said that the State Governments should sensitize masses about the pros and cons of eco-sensitive zone before implementing any development programme. The Army officer-turned-politician also demanded from the Government to install hi-tech and latest equipment for weather forecast.
The Himalayas need an agenda for development and environment. I
would quote only five points for elucidating my point of view. The
Himalayan States must build a viable and sustainable forest-based
economy. Can they use forests for development? Can they value
eco-system services of forests so that protection is valued?
I would say that the strategy for water development must balance the opportunity for energy and threat to livelihood particularly in the age of changing climate and hydrology. The need for energy in remote villages must be secured first before exporting to regions outside.
There is a need to promote local organic agriculture and its produce
as a specialty high value premium produce of a fragile ecology.
There is a need to use ecosystem-based tourism for development but with safeguards and local benefits
Prahad Singh Patel (Damoh)
Himalaya is not only barrier but protector of National security,
water, forest and biodiversity.farming session. deforestation is
taking place and glacier are residing.
Lactic cattle’s in the region are on the verge of elimination because
of less farm land four month of farming session. Himalayan people
-referring Kashmir are living without impacting nature not consuming petrol and energy, they live in mountains using physical labour. They must get carbon credit but are being punished in-spite of award.
Climate change is impacting life’s of people so not only ministry be
established but to find solutions to all problems in holistic way.
Women does 90% farm work in Himalaya so they needs special attention.
Mullappally Ramchandaran (vadakara)
A holistic approach is required for the protection of environment and ecology of Himalayas. Our reckless land-use pattern and merciless killing of trees have caused great damage to the ecosystem of the Himalayas.
Himalayan regions often witness flash floods, cloudbursts and
avalanches. The Uttarakhand deluge last year has opened our eyes, and it made us realize how fragile the Himalayan region is. Any hazard to environment and ecology will definitely endanger the whole northern region, and probably the existence of this subcontinent. Experts say that one of the reasons for flash floods in the region is soil erosion following the reckless felling of trees. We may recall the Chipko movement launched by Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna who waged a relentless battle to protect the forests of Himalayas.
The flora and fauna of Himalayas are famous from time immemorial.
Going in for large-scale industries will ruin the ecosystem of the
Himalayas. The weather and climatic conditions of Himalayas are more suitable for electronic industries, watches, computers etc.
The inhabitants along the Himalaya region are to be sensitized about the fragile and yet bountiful Himalayas.
A separate Ministry would definitely be helpful in protecting the
ecology and developing the region by putting rich resources to the
The mover of the Resolution, Dr. Pokhriyal wants to identify the backward areas of Himalayan States, and ensure their overall development and conservation. Here, my considered view is that sustainable development is possible only through conservation of the ecology of the Himalayas.
The mover of the Resolution is also seeking for providing special
financial package for the development of backward areas, particularly, the border areas. My suggestion is that the issue of backwardness must be addressed by taking a holistic view on the matter.
The suggestion made by the mover of the Resolution for establishing
hydro-electric power projects is to be assessed by way of a thorough
It is a fact that the perennial rivers of the Himalayas are a great
source of huge volume of water. The question arises, how best it can
be harnessed without harming the eco-system.
Anurag Thakur (Hamirpur)
Independent India Himachal got 44 Kmt railway line where as British built railway from Pathakot to Joginder Nager and Kalka to Shimla.
We give birth to many war hero’s in army but are not getting additional qouta in recruitment in Army. We are first carbon neutral state, polythene free, surplus energy producing state.
People of Himachal were displaced by Bhakhara and pong Dam, are not settled till date but Punjab, Hariyana and other states are enjoying benefits.
We cater one crore thirty lakh tourist in a year but road condition is very bad.
Mountain states faces cloud burst, land slide, earth quake, hailstorms which is common feature.
Development cost is double, majority of land is forest land and it is
tough to get forest clearance and NOC for the development projects.
We must be provided eco system payments for so.
Vincent H Pala (Shillong)
We need financial package.
The other thing that I wish to say is that we should provide more for
the infrastructure. Whoever has presented the Budget, be it the
Railway Budget or the General Budget, he always talks about giving 10 per cent to Northeast. They always keep 10 per cent for the
north-east. Why do you want to keep only 10 per cent for the
north-east? For roads, we should have 20 to 30 per cent. A lot of
money is required.
Adhir Ranjan Chaudhri (BAHARAMPUR)
Sir, the Region is known as a ‘water tower of the earth’.
Approximately, 10 to 20 per cent of the area is covered by glaciers
while 30 to 40 per cent remains under seasonal snow cover. Despite
the vast water resources (1,200,000 million metre cubic annual flow of the Himalayan rivers) trends such as diminishing regulatory effects of glaciers, streams and rivers are gradually occurring in the Region.
This Region has a total geographical area of about 5,30,795 square
kilometres inhabited by nearly four crore people, representing 16.16 per cent of the total area and nearly four per cent of the total
population of our country. The literacy rate of the Indian Himalayan
Region is about 67 per cent. It is good that it is marginally higher
than the national average of 65.4 recorded in the 2001 census.
Its forest display phenomenal biodiversity that is used to meet
diverse needs of the people. Sir, 65 per cent of the geographical
area is under forest representing one-third of the total forest cover,
and 46 per cent of the very good forest cover in the country.
Thirteen peaks surpassing 7,000 metres in elevation plays a strategic role in safeguarding the entire northern boundary of our country.
The Himalayas with its vast green cover acts as ‘sink’ also for
carbon di-oxide. In the age of global warming, the word ‘sink’,
carbon sequestrations have become a very familiar name. The Himalayas with its vast green cover acts as ‘sink’ for carbon di-oxide.
Estimates of annual carbon sequestration by the forests of western and north-eastern Himalayas are computed to 6.49 Mt, that values to 843 million US dollars. This is one of the important ecosystem services being performed by the Himalayan forests.
The people of the Indian Himalayan Region are still the victim of
poverty and misery. Their livelihood basically depends upon the
natural resources, forestry, livestock, etc. The continually growing
population depend upon finite resources. We know that the resources could always be termed as ‘finite’ but the demand has been growing exponentially over the years because population has been growing.
Naturally, in commensurate with the growth of population, demands are also rising but the resources are finite. So, what is the way-out?
The way-out is that we have to innovate, we have to modernize the
Himalayan farming; we have to make productivity of the Himalayan
farming happen; and furthermore rich biological and cultural resources in this Region are under-developed. Present trends of environmental health suggest that existing interventions are unsustainable.
Sir, it is very much witnessed that the development in the Himalayan
Range has become a nemesis for the common people because the
development has not been made in a sustainable manner. As a result, we had witnesses the horrific incidents of Uttrakhand episode. Still, the horror has been haunting our memory. That is why we ought to be very much careful and cautious.
In the year 2011, we had witnessed the severe earthquake occurred in Sikkim. Himalayan Range is known to be very fragile and vulnerable.
That is why Himalayan Range needs some sorts of specifications in all its activities. Therefore, a dedicated agency for the entire Indian
Himalayan Range is a pre-requisite. In consultation with all the
Himalayan States, the Government should come forward with a holistic approach for the development of entire Himalayan Region.
Sir, the inherent fragility of the mountains as well as the increased
vulnerability of the Himalaya to human-induced environmental impacts make people live in the shadow of fears of natural hazards.
Accelerated soil erosion and increased silting of water bodies, drying up of springs, replacement and disappearance of species and increased ratio of energy expended in fodder, fuel collection and agricultural activity that increase drudgery of the womenfolk, are some of the tell-tale symptoms of environmental ill-health.
Sir, nature does not brook any kind of unceremonious infringement
upon it. In the name of civilization, we have destroyed the pristine
environment of great Himalayas, as a result of which we have been
inflicted by the fury of Himalayas, which culminated in the
devastation and destruction of lives and properties.
Sir, the Uttrakhand episode should be treated as a red signal for any
future development in the entire Himalayan Region. In this regard, a
Task Force was already constituted to have a long-term policy on the Indian Himalayan Region.
That Task Force had recommended that the balance between natural resources exploitation and conservation should tilt in favour of the latter. Zones must be identified for appropriate activities such as zones of snow, Alpine, Sub-Alpine areas and sacred landscapes to be protected at any cost. All natural water zones must be strictly
protected. Forest zones should be conserved and augmented for
environmental services and biodiversity values.
Government reply by Dr. Rajender Singh State Minster GoI
No doubts mountain areas have special subjects, special problems
which are very peculiar. There is stress of resources, calamities
usually comes and issue of transport is also there.
The Government is committed to address the issues related to the
sustainable development of the Himalayan States and this is a
statement being made on the Floor of the House Himalaya is reach treasure of biodiversity, cultural diversity and ethnic diversity.
The National Mission of Sustaining Himalayan Eco-system has been
launched under the National Action Plan for Climate Change. The focus of mission is on sustenance of Himalayan eco-system, which includes glaciers, biodiversity and traditional knowledge societies.
The mission also focuses on rapid generation of capacities, including
human and institutional activities between forces of nature and
actions of mankind.
A dedicated Mountain Division has also been established to contribute to the sustainable and migrated development of Himalayan region through integrated policies and programmes.
Finance Minister has provided 100 Crores for setting up of National
Center for Himalayan studies in this budget.
All the 11 Himalayan States, which include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Jharkhand, have been accorded special category status by the National Development Council mainly for four reasons – hilly and difficult terrain, low population density, strategic location and non-viable nature of finances.
This is an important aspect which is to be brought to the notice of
the hon. Members that these 11 Himalayan States, which have been
accorded special category status, get a number of benefits from the
Central Plan Assistance which is more as compared to the general
category states. That in many of the Centrally sponsored schemes, the requirement of State’s share for these States is at much lower level compared to the other States. For the balanced development of the border areas and to look after the specific problems of the border area people there is a plan of Border Area Development Plan, BADP.
Therefore, keeping in view the special characteristics of the North
Eastern States and majority of the Himalayan States, there is a
provision of earmarking of funds of 10 per cent of the several Central Ministries, which already exists.
Himalayan States are on the highest priority of the Government. The
Government is committed to the sustainable development of the
Himalayan States. At the same time, I must state before the hon.
Members that for the time being the Government has no proposal for creation of a new Ministry to exclusively deal with matters relating to the development of the Himalayan States, and doing so may not be viable for the time being. I will request the hon. Member to kindly withdraw the Resolution. Thank you.
Dr. Ramesh Pokhrial Nishank (Haridwar)
Seventeen members expressed their view on the subject and justified need for this ministry. Minister has accepted the fact and I hope in near future that this ministry will come in to existence. With
these word i withdraw my resolution.
Comments on Lok Sabha debate on the issue of creation of new Ministry for the development of Himalayan States.
On behalf of Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, I thanks Dr Nishank and all
parliamentarians who participated in the debate but four points for
debate raised by him are not reflecting the actual sustainability
issue, aspiration and need of the Himalayan region and people.
2. Focus of these points and debate of some of the MPs was to
stressing on seek more funds/finances for development and construction new railways, roads, airways, Hydro Projects, industries and maximum extraction and exploiting Himalayan natural resources.
3. Conservation and sustainability was discussed by some of the PMs but livelihood issue was not much seriously addressed whereas issue of employment and migration was hinted.
4. Many of presenter stressed on Development of better infrastructure for Tourism and enhancing transportation facilities for extraction of minerals and development of hydro projects.
5. Sprite of SZ Kasim report was not reflected but was just reffed
to justify the formation of ministry which may benefit some of the
aspirants for the lucrative birth.
6. Reply of minister is status co, incomplete and conventional stand of GoI.
7. I think this incomplete, e rational and investment focused
development aspiration will harm Himalaya and its people and will not do fair with down stream region. This approach will further deterrent the environment and will further enhance disaster, deforestation, flash flood, cloud burst, land slid and erosion. Mega infrastructure projects , Dams, mining, construction of mega Hydro projects and tunneling will enhance gravity of disasters and its impact. Seismological activity may enhance and earth quack and be more disastrous.
My Suggestion on this debate
1. Resolution shall firstly address Himalayan development framework based on considering Himalayan specificity, environmental and livelihoods issues in the light of consevation through livelihood and sustainability of nature considering the stress and niche of the region.
2. Resolution or bill for Himalayan development framework shall be moved by the government after detail study, public consultation and addressing various sectors of Himalayan specificity.
3. After addressing the above concerns the issue of institutional
framework such as authority or ministry may be discussed.
These are my first hand reaction and is first draft of content. I
request to you all to contribute in to the debate and enrich with your
I have tried to present the debate of MPs in right sense and spirit in
this brief and feels sorry if I presented and interpreted the content
of debate in wrong sense.
Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayas