Over 5 lakh people have migrated out of Uttarakhand in last 10 years, 734 ghost villages in the state, reveals RTI

Express News Service
DEHRADUN: More than 5 lakh people have migrated from Uttarakhand in the last 10 years, revealed an RTI reply. 

The query filed by Hemant Gaunia, an activist based in Haldwani of Nainital district also revealed that from 6338 village panchayats total 1,18,961 have migrated out of Uttarakhand permanently, which means not to return ever, while 3,83,726 have migrated in search of work and better life, who keep visiting their native places in the hill state. 

“Now it is more than 20 years since the formation of Uttarakhand state in November 2000. Our successive governments have failed to find any solution to check the migration from hills. Much needed infrastructure, job opportunities and other basic facilities are still lacking,” said Gaunia. 

The RTI also says that 3946 villages are the ones from where people have migrated ‘permanently’ leaving land and homes are lying which implies that these villages fit the definition of ‘Ghost Villages’.

Out of total 5,02,707 peole who migrated out of state since year 2011, highest number of people migrated from Tehri district with 89,830 followed by Pauri (73072), 69818 from Almora district, Chamoli (46290), Pithoragarh (41669), Rudraprayag (30570), Bageshwar (29300), Dehradun (28,583), Champawat (28218), Nainital (25774), Uttarakashi (22620),  Haridwar with total 9312 people and Udham Singh Nagar (7016). 

According to the commission, set up by the Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, the hill state has around 700 ghost villages. The data by the commission released in year 2018 also pointed out that more than 3.83 lakh people left their homes between 2007-17. 

Around 50% of them had left in search of livelihood, according to a report released by the SRDMC in May last year. Uttarakhand has around 16,500 villages, of which 734 have become ‘Ghost Villages’.