SlideShare a Scribd company logo
1 of 17
Promoting Sustainable and Resilient Development of Hill Areas - Issues and
Options
Jit Kumar Gupta
Jit.kumar1944@gmail.com
Introduction;
Having genesis in the natural processes/ forces for its formation/creation, hills as
natural bio-sphere reserves, remain different, distinct and unique. Showcasing distinct
morphology, displaying unique structure and possessing valuable flora and fauna, hills
are known to hold special significance in terms of environment, ecology and economy of
any region, state or country. Supportive climate and valuable natural resources make hill
areas preferred and attractive destination for large community of people living in the
harsh and hot climatic regions. Occupying 17% of the geographical area and housing
10% of the total population of India as a nation, besides being the origin/ source for
majority of rivers and lakes of the country, hill areas remain vital, critical and important
for the rational growth and development of India as a nation. Growth and development
of vast majority of nation’s population living in the plain areas, hinges on the preservation,
conservation and making value addition to the hill areas for the reason that economy,
environment and prosperity of such areas ,directly or indirectly depends on the valuable
resources of hill states. Achieving the target/goal of India becoming $5 trillion economy
will remain merely a mirage and a dream without the active and rational growth and
development of the hill areas
Despite being gifted by nature and rich in natural resources; having large area under
evergreen forests; having enormous potential for generating hydel power; possessing
large reservoirs of mineral, valuable herbs, medicinal plants, horticultural products; still
inherent strength and hidden potential of hill areas has not been fully understood,
appreciated and valued by the policy planners and development agencies in the domain
of orderly growth and rational development of the nation. This has led to marginalization,
diluting and muting the role , relevance and importance of hill areas, in chartering the
rational growth and orderly development of nation as a whole. Driven by neglect,
marginalization and lower order of development, majority of population in hill areas
face the threat and challenge posed by poverty, unemployment, social/ physical
infrastructures, accessibility, environment, disasters, floods, landslides etc.
Despite fragility and high degree of environmental sensitivity, increasing pressure of
human activities has contributed its share in damaging ecology and environment of hill
areas. Unscientific exploitation of valuable natural resources and putting into operation
numerous ill-conceived development projects has threatened the sensitive eco-system of
hills. Obvious impact of such exploitation and development has been repeated destruction
of life and property on colossal scale both in hills and plains. Looking at the manner in
which hill areas were globally being manipulated, marginalized and neglected globally,
Stockholm Conference on Human Environment in 1972 tried to create awareness among
nation’s policy planners, communities and people, about the deteriorating environmental
quality and its adverse impact on global and local growth and development,
It is understood that developmental policies made operational in the domain of
Agriculture and Tourism Sectors in India, during the post-independence era have
resulted in extensive and large scale deforestation, haphazard and unplanned
development; creating adverse environmental impact and consequential ecological
imbalance ;with the result most of the hill areas in India have been denuded from its
natural assets and listed as ecological sensitive zones by the Ministry of Environment
and Forests. However, simply declaring the hill areas as eco-sensitive zones would not
yield desired dividends, unless well-focused and well- planned/designed strategies for
rational development of hill areas are not put into operation on priority. It needs to be
understood / appreciated that, considering the sensitivity and fragility of hill areas eco-
system, including their peculiar problems and potentials, development strategy to be
made operational for hill areas has to be different and distinct, both in intent, contents
and approach, from what is made applicable in the plain areas , and must invariably
include and involve, elements of both conservation, preservation and making value
addition to the valuable natural assets existing/available in hill areas, as integral part of
the defined strategy.
Based on the analogy followed in the other parts, hill areas in the country also have
undergone rapid change, in the pattern of the growth and development. The initial tranche
of development of hill areas was witnessed during the 19th century and pre-
independence, period when Britishers developed numerous towns, health resorts,
cantonments etc. in the hill areas and made them accessible through the construction of
road and rail network. However, these centres have now grown into urban nodes of hill
regions in the post-independence period with large
concentration of population, institutions and social/physical activities, resulting in creating
numerous problems of congestion, water &, land scarcity, pollution, loss of valuable flora
and fauna, destruction of scenic beauty and creating visual blight and poor living
conditions. Majority of these problems have genesis and are the outcome of
uncontrolled migration and uncontrolled/ haphazard development and expansion of
urban settlements in hill states, in the name of promoting tourism, generating
employment , promoting local economy and putting the hill states on fast trajectory of
growth and development. Such pattern and approach to development has resulted/ led
to large scale deforestation by denuding large number of trees from area under forests;
converting forest land into plantation/pasture lands; constructing numerous dams and
reservoirs in the name of harnessing river water for promoting irrigation/generating hydro-
power; and creating road network without caring for the damage/destruction caused to
the basic structure/ fabric of hills in the name improving accessibility in the hill areas.
These problems have genesis in the approach, methodology and strategy adopted by
the policy planners and development agencies, without caring for , understanding and
appreciating the need for creating balance between the components of environment and
issues of development prevailing in the hill areas. Considering the role and relevance of
hill areas for the nation, issues facing hill areas need to be understood and appreciated
more realistically and rationally, for making them integral part of the national
development agenda. This calls for looking holistically at the entire gamut of growth and
development of hill areas and evolving/adopting well-planned and well-designed
development strategies for such areas for achieving the objectives of; promoting planned
development; making hill area development rational and supportive of environment and
ecology; safeguarding valuable natural resources; valuing area of natural and scenic
beauty; preserving natural bio-sphere; maintaining and making value addition to the
richness of the available bio-diversity besides maintaining and enhancing the uniqueness
of existing eco-system and visual resources;
Emerging Issues of Growth and Development in Hill Areas;
As already briefed, hill areas remain different, distinct and unique in its physical structure;
economic resources and social fabric . Hill areas also remain unique by virtue of its
morphology, heritage and culture. Hill areas are also known for its dualities and
contradictions for the reason that hill area possess inbuilt uniqueness and inherent
fragility. Baes on these inherent dualities/contradictions, hill areas remain highly
susceptible and prone to disasters based on natural/human interventions. Because of
prevailing physiography and unique topography, hill areas , in the process of physical
growth and socio-economic development, face large number of challenges/ roadblocks,
which can be enumerated in terms of environment, ecology, land, resources, heritage,
culture, architecture, built & manmade environment, and management. These roadblocks
and its implications, for the rational and orderly growth and development of hill areas,
have been enumerated in brief below;
 Marginalizing Ecology ; Known as, study and analysis of the manner in which
organisms interact with the environment around them, Ecology includes and
involves, studying relationship between living things and their habitats , for
creating a balanced development in any region and area. Human beings and bio-
diversity area known for their closely connectivity and inter-dependence and
accordingly remain relevant for creating an equilibrium between physical growth
/development of human settlements and preserving/maintaining quality of
environment. Human activities are known to play vital/ critical/important role in
maintaining/promoting/adversely impacting the health of ecosystems around the
world. Pollution emitted from use of fossil fuel is known to adversely impact and
contaminate the food supply for species, potentially changing the entire food web.
Introduction of invasive/new species in a new/alien environment is known to
adversely / negatively impacts the local life forms. The addition or subtraction of a
single species from an ecosystem, can create a domino effect on many other
species, whether that be, from the spread of disease or over-hunting(National
Geography).
With rapid increase/spread of the human number and due to expansion of their
outreach and activities, bio-diversity prevailing in the hill areas has been
adversely/grossly impacted. Clearing of large areas under forest, has led to the
destruction of the habitat of numerous species existing in the said area.
Generation of large waste and its unscientific disposal in eco-sensitive areas has
led to creating imbalance in the bio-diversity. Large scale pollution of water
resources/rivers by discharging untreated human sullage and industrial waste has
created havoc with the species living in such water bodies, destroying/diluting its
natural habitat. Accordingly, large scale damage and destruction of the
existing/natural bio-diversity has been the outcome of the existing pattern of
growth and development. In the process hill areas have suffered enormously.
Accordingly, it becomes important and relevant that issues related to prevailing
bio-diversity in hill areas are identified, studied and thoroughly analysed before
laying down/defining any agenda for rational development of the hill area.
 Unplanned Development ; Hill areas in the Indian context represent a mosaic
which is marked by dualities and contradictions. Despite being ecologically rich,
yet these areas remain economically poor. Despite having numerous resources
with enormous development potential, poverty still is the order of the day. Though
rich in natural heritage still general living conditions remain sub-standard. Looking
critically and objectively, these dualities and contradictions are the outcome of
irrational, unplanned and unscientific approach adopted for the development of hill
areas. From the snow clad Himalayas to the denuded hills of Aravalli, the problems
and potential of hill areas have been found to be at considerable variance because
of their peculiar setting and conditions. However, some of the common problems
faced by the hill regions in the country include; indiscriminate felling of trees,
unscientific exploitation of natural resources, large scale soil erosion, siltation in
downstream areas, flooding, shifting cultivation, faulty agricultural practices, low
availability of cropped lands, fragmented and small landholding, heavy pressure
an agricultural land, least diversified economy, large extent of uncultivated
wasteland, inadequate irrigation facilities, scarcity of buildable land, haphazard,
unauthorized, unplanned, substandard constructions, linear development along
the critical road network and within urban areas, uneven development of urban
system, deficiency of infrastructures both physical and social and lack of
accessibility. Looking at the entire context of growth and development, it can be
safely concluded that hill areas are being subjected to numerous developmental
forces generated by rapid population growth, changing pattern of human
settlements, pattern of living , rapid urbanization and concentration of population
in few urban centers. Considered and valued as sensitive eco-system , Hill areas
require equally sensitive and scientific approach for ensuring its rational, planned
and sustainable growth and development.
 Irrational Industrial Growth; Despite rich in natural resources, industrial
development in the hill areas has been of lower order and whatever industrial
development has taken place, has remained confined only to few pockets, and that
too mostly on the borders of the adjoining states, leaving large inner area of the
hill states untouched by the industrialization, leading to creating wide spatial and
economic imbalances within different regions of the hill states. Policy of
incentivizing industrial growth and development in hill areas, by making available
industrial growth incentives, offered under the policy framed by the Government of
India, for generating employment, removing poverty, making optimum use of
available resources by bringing industry to hill areas, has led to growth/shifting of
large number of industries to the hill areas in the pockets located in close proximity
of state boundary. In the absence of any planned development, these industries
have mushroomed in a haphazard and unplanned manner, without any basic
infrastructure, which has adversely impacted the environment and ecology of the
state. Large number of polluting pharmaceutical industries established have also
created havoc with the local/state ecology, polluting the environment and fresh
water resources in this process. Setting up of large number of industrial units have
also attracted large work force to run the industry. In the absence of adequate
affordable housing available in close proximity , large number of slums have also
mushroomed in the industrial area besides putting developmental pressure on
rural/urban settlements. The vast potential offered by hill area in terms of excellent
pollution free climate, availability of abundant horticultural products in terms of
quality fruits, vegetables, rare herbal flora and fauna; existence of huge deposits
of natural resources etc. have not been properly exploited for improving the state
economy. Existing pattern of industrial growth and development has done more
damage than good to state resources, environment and economy and in the
process unplanned industrial growth has emerged as one of the major bottlenecks
in the rational development of hill areas. Pattern of industrial growth accordingly
needs to be critically looked into and appropriately rationalized to make it
supportive of the hill area environment, economy and sustainability.
 Uncontrolled and Unregulated Tourism; Because of unique and supportive
climate, wonderful natural resources, different and distinct morphology, serene
environment, existence of large variety of flora and fauna and possessing unique
culture and heritage, Tourism has emerged as one of the most preferred activities,
on the development agenda of the state governments, to usher an era of growth
and development, promoting economy, generating employment, banishing poverty
and promoting infrastructure in hill areas. Accordingly, all hill states across nation,
are racing to put in place numerous policies and programs, which would promote
the state as the preferred tourist destination, within and outside the country. As a
result, hill areas are now witnessing enormous influx of tourists and in the process
rapid growth and development of tourist related facilities and infrastructures.
Though tourism is being encouraged on considerations of economy and
employment, but its impact on bio-diversity, eco-system, ecology, environment,
culture, growth and development have been found to be highly adverse. It needs
to be understood and appreciated that tourism, as an activity, remains a double
edged weapon, which has
been wielded by communities and people from non-hill states , for siphoning of
resources from the hill states, damaging and bringing large scale destruction of
valuable flora and fauna, loss of natural resources causing irreparable damage to
local culture, values and loss of vital heritage in the hill states. Uncontrolled
tourism has done irreparable damage to the hill area’s valuable resources ,with far
reaching long terms development implications. In the absence of proper planning
and developmental framework, tourism related development has been found to be
both haphazard and sub-standard. Hill areas in the past have witnessed enormous
level of construction activity in the highly ecologically fragile areas, with slopes
higher than 30 degrees used indiscriminately for putting in place concrete
monsters. Carrying capacity of the area has become a non-issue in permitting
development with real estate lobby creating structures, which are not only against
all norms, standards and building bye-laws but are also violative of all cannons of
planning principles, safe and sound development practices. The current practices
have made the state highly vulnerable to natural and manmade disasters, putting
the life and property of hill people and communities to enormous risk. The issue
of regulating uncontrolled tourism and related development should form an integral
part of agenda for promoting rational development of hill areas.
 Spatial Spread of Settlement Pattern; Hill areas, because of its unique and
difficult terrain/topography , limited availability of appropriate land, are known to
have a settlement pattern which remains generally thin and widely dispersed.
Human settlements accordingly remain small and dispersed but large in numbers.
State of Himachal Pradesh, which has a geographical area of merely 55673
Sqkms , have as many as 20690 rural settlements v and only 59 urban centres,
with level of urbanization standing at 10.08%
( census 2011). Looking at the existing settlement scenario in general and urban
settlements framework in particular’ in the hill areas, it can be clearly observed
that existing mosaic of settlement structure is dominated by few urban centres,
having large concentration of population, and large number of small sized rural
settlements, spread far and wide leaving large tracts of areas which remain ill-
serviced by basic amenities and services for human living . Wide variations existing
in the settlement structure and with low population density prevailing within hill
settlements , limits the policy options for development. Large number of thinly
spread settlements makes it difficult to promote planned development , make
provision and ensure
access of basic services and amenities ,essential for human living / working,
providing connectivity and ensuring appropriate order of quality of life to the
inhabitants of such settlements. Existing pattern of human settlements, spread far
and wide, need different planning and developmental strategies/options for
promoting planned development of such settlements and making accessible basic
amenities/services to all the inhabitants of such settlements, both rural and urban.
 Urbanization; Hill areas in India are known to have varying degree of
urbanization, with north- eastern hill states recording higher level of urbanization
when compared to hill states falling in the north-western India. Hill states are also
known for variable spread of concentration of population in few districts/pockets
as compared to other areas within the state itself.
Pockets of land falling close to non-hill districts are known to have high
concentration of population when compared to other parts of the state. Existence
of differential level of urbanization has genesis in; existing morphology of land ;
availability of land for development; level of accessibility/connectivity available in
the area in terms of roads/railways/air; strategic location; administrative status;
availability of water and other essential supportive infrastructure; centrality;
historic importance etc. Taking example of hill states of Himachal Pradesh, it can
be seen that, as per census 2011; around half of population of the state was
concentrated in merely 3 districts (out of 12) namely Kangra, Mandi and Shimla;
all the 12 districts recoded annual growth below 1.63% with 1.44 lakh people
housed in Shimla, the state capital. State has higher rate of literacy (75.9%) when
compared with the national average, which makes Himachal Pradesh unique in its
setting and structure. Lahul & Spiti districts recorded lowest population density of
2 person per sq. km as compared to 406 persons in case of Hamirpur district,
which clearly brings out wide variation in population distribution in the state. As per
projections made, state was likely to have total population of 83.93 lakh in 2021
with level of urbanization projected to be 12.48 (2021) and urban population
standing at 10.45 lakhs. The wide variations in population, settlement pattern and
prevailing density within the state brings out numerous planning and development
issues which call for different options and strategies to be put in place for each part
of the state, keeping in view their problems and potentials. However, looking at the
entire context, hill states should invariably have low level of
urbanization when compared to non-hill states. Hill states should carry out a
detailed survey of the state and identify area/pockets fit for human settlements /
urbanization and all development must be limited to the identified areas. However
, density of population must be dictated by amount of land available, slope of hills,
availability of water, soil bearing capacity and local environment/ecology. Further,
depending upon the load bearing capacity of land ; typologies of construction
must be decided. Plotted development in hill settlements must be dispensed with
and should be replaced by flatted development of low height and low spread to
conserve the precious land resource. Cities/towns proposed must be made
people/environment embedded with appropriate quality of life. Pattern adopted by
Japan for its urbanization based in a limited area could be studied and evaluated
for its appropriateness for state of Himachal Pradesh.
 Land; Land remains the most critical element, determining the physical growth
and socio-economic development of hill area besides defining its settlement
pattern. In hills areas limiting factors like slope, soil characteristics, flora & fauna,
vegetation, nature of rocks and its physical structure, have emerged as the
greatest challenge in evolving rational planning and development framework for
the human settlements. With limited availability and large parcels falling under
eco-fragile zones, land in hill areas have come under lot of developmental stress.
Development pressure generated by increasing tourist footfalls, calling for creating
large number of rooms for the stay of tourists; need for creating tourism supportive
infrastructure, rapidly increasing population led by increased migration , has led to
creating large demand for built environment. All human activities, basically and
essentially, are consumers of land , energy and natural resources. In the race of
making available more land for development and construction of built environment,
large scale cutting of trees is being resorted to, resulting in destruction of large
reservoirs of flora and fauna in the hill state. In the absence of adequate checks
and balances; well defined norms and standards of land-use with low priority being
given to promoting planned development, majority of land is being subjected to
sub-standard, unplanned and haphazard development. Level and intensity of
unplanned development has been observed to exceed the limits of sustainability
and capacity of such land. Land sharks and land mafia are emerging as most
powerful lobbies in the states which are constantly on prowl, looking for more and
more vulnerable areas which can be cleared,
used for urbanization and sold at exorbitant price. In the absence of appropriate
framework for regulating the use of land and its rational sub-division; absence of
properly prepared development plans/ master plans for majority of urban areas;
absence of a dedicated manpower and resources for implementing such plans;
irrational zoning regulations and building bye-laws, these long -term plans and
bye-laws have remained ineffective and failed in promoting planned development
in the hill states. Accordingly, issue related to land ownership, land management,
sub-division of land for urban purposes; land norms; conversion, preservation,
utilization of land and creating balance between agricultural and non-agricultural
uses, needs to be critically looked into and appropriately addressed for promoting
rational growth and development besides making optimum use of available land
resource.
Heritage; Hill areas are known to be home and house large reservoir of valuable
heritage, created by both human beings and nature, over a period of time ,
spanning over centuries. This valuable and vulnerable assets in the hill states
has been identified in the shape of numerous buildings, temples, palaces, public
buildings, public spaces, precincts, building complexes, bio-sphere reserves,
lakes, dense forests, wild life sanctuaries, flora and fauna. Valuable heritage has
also been localized in number of villages, cities and towns in hill areas. With rapid
growth and spread of population, institutions, facilities and amenities in cities
and towns ,the human settlements and eco-sensitive zones in the hill areas have
been subjected to enormous developmental pressure. Under the impact of
uncontrolled and unregulated ,haphazard and unplanned development of hill
areas, most of the heritage has been lost and destroyed in the hill states. In the
process , large number of heritage buildings have been tempered with, misused
and abused and numerous others have been lost in the haze of unauthorized and
inconsistent uses to which they have been put. Uncontrolled tourism has also
resulted in causing irreparable damage to the heritage areas due to mushrooming
of construction around the heritage buildings. Absence of appropriate heritage -
focused building controls and development regulations , to safe guard the valuable
heritage, has also led to choking of the open spaces available around such
heritage buildings. Unauthorized encroachments have destroyed the important
public spaces, available as forecourts of these buildings. Unplanned and
substandard development has contributed its share in destroying the valuable
treasure
of the state. It is important that hill state, which are also called abode of God and
nature, must put in place appropriate plans/options and strategies, which eliminate
all possible causes which tend to dilute, mute, damage, destroy, marginalise or
undermine the value, aesthetics and architectural glory of these buildings and
natural areas. In addition, state governments operating in hill states, must put in
place, on priority, an effective and efficient mechanism and policy framework, for
identifying , notifying, regulating, preserving, conserving and managing the
existing heritage, both tangible and intangible, for preserving and passing over to
next generations.
 Communication; Hill areas invariably face problems of creating and preserving
the vital road network and regulating growth and development taking place along
these roads. Roads in hill areas have been found to be most valuable and
vulnerable, being best destination for constructing shops, eating joints, Dhaba’s,
hotels, restaurants, repairs shops, industries and even houses. All such
constructions come up along the entire length of the road immediately where the
road reservation ends. Thus, most of the roads are having linear growth and
development, which is totally unplanned, substandard and haphazard in nature.
These structures put enormous pressure on road network causing high degree of
stress on the smooth flow of traffic. Due to inadequacy of space and with areas
around roads, subjected to intense development, future widening of roads become
totally impossible. The business activities being carried out along the roads
invariably spills over the right of way, creating traffic bottlenecks. In order to
preserve proper accessibility and to allow roads to function as arteries carrying
vital men and material across the hill areas, it becomes essential that appropriate
strategies should be put in place to properly regulate construction and
development along road network. No development/construction should be
permitted to come up without prior approval with minimum set back defined along
the roads as “no construction zone”. Proper guidelines for permitting
construction should be put in place with stringent penalties imposed on the
violators. Efforts should be to levy charges whenever construction is permitted
which should form a corpus to be used for up-gradation of road
infrastructure/network in the state.
Government of India has recently launched a massive programme of creating
large network of highways for facilitating the mobility and connecting major
pilgrimage centres located in hill states- like Char Dhams yatra. Considering the
critical implications of construction of roads/ creating a large road-network,
without any scientific study and analysis of the fragility/natural
structure/physiography of the rocks, has major developmental implications.
Current approach of creating network of major roads has led to large scale
physical damage and destruction in hill areas, which was visible during the
current monsoon season in the shape of numerous landslides and damage to
flora and fauna. With massive road development program launched, hill areas are
likely to be subjected to massive induction/increase in number of vehicles on to
the hill roads besides increase in developmental pressure, which would need to
be regulated effectively and efficiently, for maintaining the nature, natural
resources, environment and etc.
Options
Hill areas remain a mosaic of different and complex physical spaces and have all
ingredients, which make it both vulnerable and susceptible to all unplanned and
haphazard human actions/activities. Accordingly, hill areas need to be dealt with
sensitivity , care and caution for persevering its identity and sanctity. For rationalizing
the growth and development of hill areas, development strategies put in place to
overcome the challenges facing these areas must focus on; identifying physical. social,
economic and cultural regions ; adopting regional planning approach for planning of
urban and rural settlements; promoting planned and orderly development of human
settlements, both urban and rural; leveraging sound land use practices for rationalizing
and optimizing the valuable land resource; creating resource efficient , eco-friendly and
sustainable built environment; developing alternate sources of energy based on the sun,
wind, water and geo-thermal resources; conserving ,preserving and making value
addition to manmade/natural heritage; rationalizing tourism related activities; optimising
utilization and rational development of resources etc. The basic approach to hill area
development must be based on principle of development without destruction and design
with nature, culture , local environment/ecology, with efforts made to eliminate any
damage to the fragile hill eco-system and natural resources.
Based on agenda defined above the approach to rationalizing the development of hill
areas must evolve and revolve around;
 Development without Destruction; Promoting sustainable Development/
sustainability of hill areas is neither a slogan nor a marketable commodity. Context,
role and importance of sustainability has not been fully understood , appreciated and
followed by human beings , communities and parastatal agencies in day to day living.
Initially, hill areas were much better places to live, till all communities, societies
respected the principle of Need as the essence and governing mandate of human
living. Ever since human living has migrated to Greed and has been led and dictated
by consumerism , the role , relevance and context of sustainability has been brought
in; to restore ecological balance, undo damage caused by development and promote
sustainability in the impacted area. Accordingly, hill areas were in much better
position in the initial period of development, but in the post-independence period with
rapid increase in population, massive migration and launching of numerous so called
programs for development, hill areas have come under enrormous development
pressure and continue to suffer from the onslaught of unplanned and irrational
development. In the process hill areas have lost enormous wealth of valuable assets,
green cover, bio-diversity and valuable flora and fauna besides loss of ecology and
environment. In order to rationalize the growth and development of hill areas, all
schemes/programs launched for development of the hill areas, must invariably
include and involve the principle of development without destruction. Such a principle
shall, primarily and essentially, be based on the premise of studying the prevailing
ecology in the area , understanding the existing resources the context of
development . Based on the study made and analysis carried out, permission for
development shall only be granted to the extent , that such development does not
cause any dilution , damage and destruction to the local environment and ecology. In
addition, development permitted shall invariably ensure not only maintaining the
status quo , but shall also make value addition to the area, environment, resources
and prevailing bi-diversity, without any damage, dilution and destruction.
 Creating a dedicated model of development; For rationalizing the growth and
development, it will be appropriate that an effective and efficient model of development
for hill areas must be defined on priority. Such a model must be essentially based
on the study and analysis of existing peculiarities of environmental resources in the
hill areas. Looking globally, two successful models of hill area development are
presently available in the world which include ; European Model and Japanese Model.
European model of hill areas development includes and involves ; adopting sound
practices of land use planning with the help of land tenure system; development of
hydro-electric power as the major sources of alternate energy; preventing destruction
of forest cover and adopting development of planned and dispersed tourism in the
region. All these factors are integrated to achieve the objective of conservation and
development. This model is based on the premise of promoting development across
the entire hill area without any damage, dilution and destruction of existing
environmental resources
In the Japanese model, hills have been divided into two distinct categories based on
the existing morphology, slopes and existing flora and fauna. In this model entire
physical and geographical area has been divided into two distinct categories. Area
which is rich in bio-diversity, environment , ecology and eco-sensitive has been
earmarked for conservation and area which is comparatively flat in nature and has low
order of environmental issues have been earmarked for development, human
habitation and large scale urbanization. Based on this analogy , eco-sensitive areas
have been planned and designed as areas of low density with only 2% population
made to occupy 75% of land areas; whereas balance 98% population have been
settled in remaining 25% of land area, having lower order of environmental
implications. Eco-sensitive hill areas have largely been used for conservation of
resources, forestry, generating hydro-electric power, promoting tourism whereas other
area has been used for housing large scale socio-economic and physical activities
including; housing, industry, trade& commerce transportation, despite adverse impact
of acute congestion and pollution. Both these models have their own relevance,
advantages, limitations, importance and contexts and can be adopted with suitable
modifications to suite the needs of hill areas. However, in order to promote
development, preserve environment, generate employment, minimising poverty,
make provision of basic infrastructure and services and to overcome the maladies and
distortions caused by the concentration of activities, people and services, European
model appears to be the better option for development of hill areas.
 Adopting Regional Approach; Adopting Regional approach in planning,
development and management would be critical in ensuring conservation,
preservation and holistic development of hill areas without causing any damage to
prevailing ecology and environment. This would call
for identifying different regions existing in the state so that different options for
development of different regions could be put in place. For identifying different regions
indicators like; altitude, topography, resources, slope, existing, vegetation, soil,
average rainfall, accessibility, pattern of development, spatial distribution of human
settlements and population could be used to classify state into areas ranging from
extremely sensitive, highly sensitive, medium sensitive and low sensitive zones.
Based on the demarcation made the development strategy should revolve around;
preservation becoming hallmark of strategy for areas of high sensitivity and
development getting concentrated in zones of medium and low sensitivity. All
ecologically degraded areas which have become derelict over a period of time should
become priority area for restoration , reclamation and housing development activities.
However, all developments must be properly planned keeping in view the carrying
capacity of such areas. Development could also be directed to valley floors and
upland flats in order to relieve pressure on more sensitive areas. Adoption of Regional
approach will not only help in integrated development of both urban and rural areas
in a mutually supportive manner but will also go along way in minimizing friction,
duplication of development, clearly demarcating the role of different settlements ,
optimizing available resources and development of urban and rural settlements in a
co-operative and collaborative manner.
 Rational Land Use Planning; Rational land use planning based on the holding
capacity & suitability would be another critical factor in ensuring the planned
development and rational use of resources of the state. In this system approach, very
steep slope could be put to intensive afforestation with moderate slopes put to a mix
of horticulture plants of economic importance. The valley and plain flat lands in the
hills could be put under cultivation of food crops and human habitation. Vast scope of
hydel power could be tapped for generating electricity with water resources used for
irrigation, recharging of ground water & ensuring growth of vegetation cover in the
derelict areas. Non-polluting hi-tech industries requiring dust free environment and
industries which require minimum land and resources with zero level of pollution,
should be encouraged in the areas of low eco-sensitivity to generate employment and
promote economic growth and development of the people and the area. Agro-based
industries using horticulture and agricultural produce including bio-tech parks should
be considered as priority area in the selected growth centres for orderly growth and
development of hill areas. It needs to be understood and appreciated that hill areas
need to be developed based on its capacity and
resources. Considering the role, importance and relevance of land resource in hill
areas, an effective and efficient policy for land use must be put in operation in order
to misuse abuse of land. Such policy should focus and revolve around
preserving/protecting the valuable resources and existing flora and fauna besides
minimising diversion of land from agrictural to non-agricultural use.
 Promoting Eco-Tourism; Promoting tourism should become the priority area on the
economic agenda of the hill states. While developing tourist related infrastructure, care
should be taken to ensure that such development should be in perfect harmony with
the surrounding environment. Tourism supportive polices should be developed by
involving local community leading to their economic, environmental and social
development. Policy framework should clearly identify conflicts between use of
resources for tourism and for the livelihood of local inhabitants with attempts made
to rationalize and minimize them. The type and scale of tourism development to be
permitted in any area should be commensurate with the environment and socio-
cultural characteristics of the local community. Tourism should be planned as an
integral part of overall area development strategy guided by an integrated land use
planning. Potential of tourism should be appropriately leveraged not only in
generating employment, improving economy but also providing basic infrastructure
and services in the area and promoting local culture and local skills. In order to make
tourism supportive of development, it will be critical and valuable to involve and make
local communities’ integral part of tourism planning, development and management.
Tourism and l tourism related issues in hill areas must be addressed squarely within
the framework of Eco-Tourism policy and guidelines, 1997, evolved by the Department
of Tourism, Government of India, for making optimum use of tourism as an effective
and efficient mechanism of rational growth and development.
 Valuing Heritage Preservation; Considering the existence of enormous wealth of
nature and manmade resources ,Heritage Preservation should be adequately and
appropriately included and addressed in the development of hill areas. Any strategy
which does not include and involve heritage preservation as its essential part would
be self-defeating and will prove to be counterproductive in the longer run. All hill states
must put in place appropriate planning framework, development guidelines and
heritage related regulations to identity the valuable heritage and suggest strategies
for its
conservation preservation and integration with the existing and proposed
development. It would be essential that such framework must be put in place
immediately to minimize damage to the heritage buildings and heritage areas.
Concept of heritage areas, heritage zones and heritage cities/towns should also be
put in place to protect the total environment in heritage rich areas.
In order to make heritage conservation a community-led program; adequate
incentives need to be built in to encourage people in preserving valuable heritage with
stringent measures put in place to discourage destruction of such areas. Development
controls for these areas should be sensitively designed so that no new construction
changes the basic character of the area. People must be educated about the need,
role, relevance and importance of heritage and its preservation & conservation in
order to involve /make them partners in the entire process of heritage conservation ,
preservation and management. States must also identify both tangible and intangible
cultural resources for their preservation and conservation. Adopting concept of listed
buildings would help in identifying the tangible heritage in hill areas. However,
creating adequate and making provision of adequate financial and manpower
resources will remain critical for preserving and promoting heritage. Resources in hill
states.
 Planned Development; Looking at the entire gamut of hill area development, it
appears that options available are very limited for promoting rational development and
protecting, preserving ecology, environment and resources of the hill areas. The
limited option which appears to be available is to go for and make optimum use of
planned development of hill areas based on sustainability, as defined by the World
Commission on Environment and Development. Accordingly, hill states must put in
position appropriately skilled manpower and machinery for evolving rational
framework for planning , development and management of human settlements and
development, at state , regional and local level , in order to ensure that entire future
growth and development takes place within the given framework. This would require
putting in places well equipped and state of art Architecture and Town Planning units
at the state and local level to evolve appropriate strategies and operational framework,
to make state a role model of planned development. Options for creating synergy
between Architecture, Town Planning and engineering units must be explored by the
state in order to make cities beautiful, sustainable, livable and providers of assured
quality of life. Sooner it
is done, better it would be for ushering an era of physical, social and economic
growth/development for the people, community, area and the hill states.
 Creating Urban Data Bank and Promoting GIS; Majority of the decision made in
urban planning remain both ad-hoc and subjective. In the absence of adequate and
accurate data base, the issue becomes all the more complex. These inadequacies
are clearly reflected in architectural/town planning practices and decision making. In
order to make the urban development more rational and realistic, it will be critical that
accurate base plans for all cities/towns are prepared and made available at local and
regional levels. These base plans/existing land use plans, must be supported by
appropriate GIS based data (Geographical Information System) for each urban
settlement, in order to make available latest realistic data for decision making. A
dedicated data bank needs to be created for each urban settlement covering its
various aspects so that preparation of detailed plans would be speedier and accurate.
Such a data will help in not only for speedier clearance of various projects which seek
permission, but will also help in ensuring effective implementation of master plans and
selection of appropriate sites for various projects based on ground realities. Availability
of accurate and reliable base plan will considerably reduce the time lag in preparation
of master plans, which are invariably delayed due to non- available of such accurate
base plans . Such a mechanism can also help in planning and development of
services/infrastructure in the area where they are deficient besides avoiding
duplication and overlapping due to absence of such plans. GIS can also be leveraged
for facilitating the integration and coordination of development activities undertaken
by various state/local level agencies besides prioritization/phasing of such activities

More Related Content

Similar to Hill Area development- Issues and Options

Role of eco tourism in achieving sustainable development
Role of eco tourism in achieving sustainable developmentRole of eco tourism in achieving sustainable development
Role of eco tourism in achieving sustainable developmentAMALDASKH
 
Significance of environmental education skills and methods for modern crisis ...
Significance of environmental education skills and methods for modern crisis ...Significance of environmental education skills and methods for modern crisis ...
Significance of environmental education skills and methods for modern crisis ...garimatandon10
 
Soil is a non-renewable resource
Soil is a non-renewable resourceSoil is a non-renewable resource
Soil is a non-renewable resourceAndrew Bam
 
The Journal of Agriculture and Environment Vol12, Jun.2011 .docx
The Journal of Agriculture and Environment Vol12, Jun.2011   .docxThe Journal of Agriculture and Environment Vol12, Jun.2011   .docx
The Journal of Agriculture and Environment Vol12, Jun.2011 .docxoreo10
 
Hazards and safety management
Hazards and safety managementHazards and safety management
Hazards and safety managementParixit Prajapati
 
Water Management in Dry land And Irrigation Scheduling in Tobacco
Water Management in Dry land And Irrigation Scheduling in TobaccoWater Management in Dry land And Irrigation Scheduling in Tobacco
Water Management in Dry land And Irrigation Scheduling in TobaccoAminul Huq
 
Sustain and unsustainable use of Biological resources
Sustain and unsustainable use of Biological resourcesSustain and unsustainable use of Biological resources
Sustain and unsustainable use of Biological resourcesRaheel Hayat Rahee
 
11.population growth and sustainable land management in india
11.population growth and sustainable land management in india11.population growth and sustainable land management in india
11.population growth and sustainable land management in indiaAlexander Decker
 
Population growth and sustainable land management in india
Population growth and sustainable land management in indiaPopulation growth and sustainable land management in india
Population growth and sustainable land management in indiaAlexander Decker
 
BIODIVERSITY LOSS AND CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
BIODIVERSITY LOSS AND CONSERVATION BIOLOGYBIODIVERSITY LOSS AND CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
BIODIVERSITY LOSS AND CONSERVATION BIOLOGYAkshay Goyal
 

Similar to Hill Area development- Issues and Options (20)

1.pdf
1.pdf1.pdf
1.pdf
 
Sdp Aicte
Sdp AicteSdp Aicte
Sdp Aicte
 
Role of eco tourism in achieving sustainable development
Role of eco tourism in achieving sustainable developmentRole of eco tourism in achieving sustainable development
Role of eco tourism in achieving sustainable development
 
Economical sustainability of landscape
Economical sustainability of landscapeEconomical sustainability of landscape
Economical sustainability of landscape
 
Ekomenzoge, CARErural
Ekomenzoge, CAREruralEkomenzoge, CARErural
Ekomenzoge, CARErural
 
Significance of environmental education skills and methods for modern crisis ...
Significance of environmental education skills and methods for modern crisis ...Significance of environmental education skills and methods for modern crisis ...
Significance of environmental education skills and methods for modern crisis ...
 
Soil is a non-renewable resource
Soil is a non-renewable resourceSoil is a non-renewable resource
Soil is a non-renewable resource
 
Iys fact sheets_preservation_en_print
Iys fact sheets_preservation_en_printIys fact sheets_preservation_en_print
Iys fact sheets_preservation_en_print
 
The Journal of Agriculture and Environment Vol12, Jun.2011 .docx
The Journal of Agriculture and Environment Vol12, Jun.2011   .docxThe Journal of Agriculture and Environment Vol12, Jun.2011   .docx
The Journal of Agriculture and Environment Vol12, Jun.2011 .docx
 
Hazards and safety management
Hazards and safety managementHazards and safety management
Hazards and safety management
 
Joseph kayode ajisefinni
Joseph kayode ajisefinniJoseph kayode ajisefinni
Joseph kayode ajisefinni
 
mpdf.pdf
mpdf.pdfmpdf.pdf
mpdf.pdf
 
Lesson 2.pptx
Lesson 2.pptxLesson 2.pptx
Lesson 2.pptx
 
Session 17_Maiga Mahamadoufarka
Session 17_Maiga MahamadoufarkaSession 17_Maiga Mahamadoufarka
Session 17_Maiga Mahamadoufarka
 
Water Management in Dry land And Irrigation Scheduling in Tobacco
Water Management in Dry land And Irrigation Scheduling in TobaccoWater Management in Dry land And Irrigation Scheduling in Tobacco
Water Management in Dry land And Irrigation Scheduling in Tobacco
 
Sustain and unsustainable use of Biological resources
Sustain and unsustainable use of Biological resourcesSustain and unsustainable use of Biological resources
Sustain and unsustainable use of Biological resources
 
sir berdonia
sir berdoniasir berdonia
sir berdonia
 
11.population growth and sustainable land management in india
11.population growth and sustainable land management in india11.population growth and sustainable land management in india
11.population growth and sustainable land management in india
 
Population growth and sustainable land management in india
Population growth and sustainable land management in indiaPopulation growth and sustainable land management in india
Population growth and sustainable land management in india
 
BIODIVERSITY LOSS AND CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
BIODIVERSITY LOSS AND CONSERVATION BIOLOGYBIODIVERSITY LOSS AND CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
BIODIVERSITY LOSS AND CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
 

More from JIT KUMAR GUPTA

Factors Causing Urban Heat Island- 14.4,24.docx
Factors Causing Urban Heat Island- 14.4,24.docxFactors Causing Urban Heat Island- 14.4,24.docx
Factors Causing Urban Heat Island- 14.4,24.docxJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Making and Unmaking of Chandigarh - A City of Two Plans2-4-24.ppt
Making and Unmaking of Chandigarh - A City of Two Plans2-4-24.pptMaking and Unmaking of Chandigarh - A City of Two Plans2-4-24.ppt
Making and Unmaking of Chandigarh - A City of Two Plans2-4-24.pptJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Planning and Designing Green buildings-.issues, options and strategies
Planning and Designing Green buildings-.issues, options and strategiesPlanning and Designing Green buildings-.issues, options and strategies
Planning and Designing Green buildings-.issues, options and strategiesJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
_Neighborhood Planning in Capital City of Chandigarh- An Appraisal (2) - Copy...
_Neighborhood Planning in Capital City of Chandigarh- An Appraisal (2) - Copy..._Neighborhood Planning in Capital City of Chandigarh- An Appraisal (2) - Copy...
_Neighborhood Planning in Capital City of Chandigarh- An Appraisal (2) - Copy...JIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Reviewing, Revising and Redefining Master Plans and Development Plans to Ma...
Reviewing, Revising and  Redefining Master Plans and Development Plans to  Ma...Reviewing, Revising and  Redefining Master Plans and Development Plans to  Ma...
Reviewing, Revising and Redefining Master Plans and Development Plans to Ma...JIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Rationalizing the Planned Growth of Urban India- paper.docx
Rationalizing the Planned Growth of Urban India- paper.docxRationalizing the Planned Growth of Urban India- paper.docx
Rationalizing the Planned Growth of Urban India- paper.docxJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Suggestion and Options for integrating villages. within the framework of the...
Suggestion and Options for  integrating villages. within the framework of the...Suggestion and Options for  integrating villages. within the framework of the...
Suggestion and Options for integrating villages. within the framework of the...JIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Making cities Climate Responsive and Sustainable
Making cities Climate Responsive and SustainableMaking cities Climate Responsive and Sustainable
Making cities Climate Responsive and SustainableJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Managing Planning and Development of Citie- 26-2-24.docx
Managing Planning and  Development of  Citie-  26-2-24.docxManaging Planning and  Development of  Citie-  26-2-24.docx
Managing Planning and Development of Citie- 26-2-24.docxJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Agenda, Approach and Options for Rationalising and Redefining Future Indian ...
Agenda, Approach and Options for Rationalising and Redefining Future  Indian ...Agenda, Approach and Options for Rationalising and Redefining Future  Indian ...
Agenda, Approach and Options for Rationalising and Redefining Future Indian ...JIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
-Redefining and Rationalising Development Controls - Copy.docx
-Redefining and Rationalising  Development Controls - Copy.docx-Redefining and Rationalising  Development Controls - Copy.docx
-Redefining and Rationalising Development Controls - Copy.docxJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Redefining and Rationalising Development Controls -Issues and Options
Redefining and Rationalising Development Controls -Issues and OptionsRedefining and Rationalising Development Controls -Issues and Options
Redefining and Rationalising Development Controls -Issues and OptionsJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Book on-Identifying, Analysing and Planning sites for Architectural Projects
Book on-Identifying, Analysing and Planning sites for Architectural ProjectsBook on-Identifying, Analysing and Planning sites for Architectural Projects
Book on-Identifying, Analysing and Planning sites for Architectural ProjectsJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
7 Leveraging Tourism for Promoting Sustainable Development of Hill States.pdf
7 Leveraging  Tourism for Promoting Sustainable Development of Hill States.pdf7 Leveraging  Tourism for Promoting Sustainable Development of Hill States.pdf
7 Leveraging Tourism for Promoting Sustainable Development of Hill States.pdfJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Strategies and Options For Making India Zero Waste Water-26-2-24.pptx
Strategies and Options For Making India Zero Waste Water-26-2-24.pptxStrategies and Options For Making India Zero Waste Water-26-2-24.pptx
Strategies and Options For Making India Zero Waste Water-26-2-24.pptxJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
SECMOL School In Leh- A Role Model of Vernacular , Passive and Sustainable H...
SECMOL School In Leh- A  Role Model of Vernacular , Passive and Sustainable H...SECMOL School In Leh- A  Role Model of Vernacular , Passive and Sustainable H...
SECMOL School In Leh- A Role Model of Vernacular , Passive and Sustainable H...JIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Land Management and sourcing land for sustainable Urban Development.
Land Management and sourcing land for sustainable Urban Development.Land Management and sourcing land for sustainable Urban Development.
Land Management and sourcing land for sustainable Urban Development.JIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Options for Making Housing Affordable a distinct Reality
Options for Making Housing Affordable a distinct RealityOptions for Making Housing Affordable a distinct Reality
Options for Making Housing Affordable a distinct RealityJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 
Urban Infrastructure 24-5-23.ppt
Urban Infrastructure  24-5-23.pptUrban Infrastructure  24-5-23.ppt
Urban Infrastructure 24-5-23.pptJIT KUMAR GUPTA
 

More from JIT KUMAR GUPTA (20)

Factors Causing Urban Heat Island- 14.4,24.docx
Factors Causing Urban Heat Island- 14.4,24.docxFactors Causing Urban Heat Island- 14.4,24.docx
Factors Causing Urban Heat Island- 14.4,24.docx
 
Making and Unmaking of Chandigarh - A City of Two Plans2-4-24.ppt
Making and Unmaking of Chandigarh - A City of Two Plans2-4-24.pptMaking and Unmaking of Chandigarh - A City of Two Plans2-4-24.ppt
Making and Unmaking of Chandigarh - A City of Two Plans2-4-24.ppt
 
Planning and Designing Green buildings-.issues, options and strategies
Planning and Designing Green buildings-.issues, options and strategiesPlanning and Designing Green buildings-.issues, options and strategies
Planning and Designing Green buildings-.issues, options and strategies
 
_Neighborhood Planning in Capital City of Chandigarh- An Appraisal (2) - Copy...
_Neighborhood Planning in Capital City of Chandigarh- An Appraisal (2) - Copy..._Neighborhood Planning in Capital City of Chandigarh- An Appraisal (2) - Copy...
_Neighborhood Planning in Capital City of Chandigarh- An Appraisal (2) - Copy...
 
Reviewing, Revising and Redefining Master Plans and Development Plans to Ma...
Reviewing, Revising and  Redefining Master Plans and Development Plans to  Ma...Reviewing, Revising and  Redefining Master Plans and Development Plans to  Ma...
Reviewing, Revising and Redefining Master Plans and Development Plans to Ma...
 
Rationalizing the Planned Growth of Urban India- paper.docx
Rationalizing the Planned Growth of Urban India- paper.docxRationalizing the Planned Growth of Urban India- paper.docx
Rationalizing the Planned Growth of Urban India- paper.docx
 
Suggestion and Options for integrating villages. within the framework of the...
Suggestion and Options for  integrating villages. within the framework of the...Suggestion and Options for  integrating villages. within the framework of the...
Suggestion and Options for integrating villages. within the framework of the...
 
Making cities Climate Responsive and Sustainable
Making cities Climate Responsive and SustainableMaking cities Climate Responsive and Sustainable
Making cities Climate Responsive and Sustainable
 
Managing Planning and Development of Citie- 26-2-24.docx
Managing Planning and  Development of  Citie-  26-2-24.docxManaging Planning and  Development of  Citie-  26-2-24.docx
Managing Planning and Development of Citie- 26-2-24.docx
 
Agenda, Approach and Options for Rationalising and Redefining Future Indian ...
Agenda, Approach and Options for Rationalising and Redefining Future  Indian ...Agenda, Approach and Options for Rationalising and Redefining Future  Indian ...
Agenda, Approach and Options for Rationalising and Redefining Future Indian ...
 
-Redefining and Rationalising Development Controls - Copy.docx
-Redefining and Rationalising  Development Controls - Copy.docx-Redefining and Rationalising  Development Controls - Copy.docx
-Redefining and Rationalising Development Controls - Copy.docx
 
Redefining and Rationalising Development Controls -Issues and Options
Redefining and Rationalising Development Controls -Issues and OptionsRedefining and Rationalising Development Controls -Issues and Options
Redefining and Rationalising Development Controls -Issues and Options
 
Book on-Identifying, Analysing and Planning sites for Architectural Projects
Book on-Identifying, Analysing and Planning sites for Architectural ProjectsBook on-Identifying, Analysing and Planning sites for Architectural Projects
Book on-Identifying, Analysing and Planning sites for Architectural Projects
 
7 Leveraging Tourism for Promoting Sustainable Development of Hill States.pdf
7 Leveraging  Tourism for Promoting Sustainable Development of Hill States.pdf7 Leveraging  Tourism for Promoting Sustainable Development of Hill States.pdf
7 Leveraging Tourism for Promoting Sustainable Development of Hill States.pdf
 
Strategies and Options For Making India Zero Waste Water-26-2-24.pptx
Strategies and Options For Making India Zero Waste Water-26-2-24.pptxStrategies and Options For Making India Zero Waste Water-26-2-24.pptx
Strategies and Options For Making India Zero Waste Water-26-2-24.pptx
 
SECMOL School In Leh- A Role Model of Vernacular , Passive and Sustainable H...
SECMOL School In Leh- A  Role Model of Vernacular , Passive and Sustainable H...SECMOL School In Leh- A  Role Model of Vernacular , Passive and Sustainable H...
SECMOL School In Leh- A Role Model of Vernacular , Passive and Sustainable H...
 
Land Management and sourcing land for sustainable Urban Development.
Land Management and sourcing land for sustainable Urban Development.Land Management and sourcing land for sustainable Urban Development.
Land Management and sourcing land for sustainable Urban Development.
 
Options for Making Housing Affordable a distinct Reality
Options for Making Housing Affordable a distinct RealityOptions for Making Housing Affordable a distinct Reality
Options for Making Housing Affordable a distinct Reality
 
Urban Infrastructure 24-5-23.ppt
Urban Infrastructure  24-5-23.pptUrban Infrastructure  24-5-23.ppt
Urban Infrastructure 24-5-23.ppt
 
GREEN SPACES.pdf
GREEN SPACES.pdfGREEN SPACES.pdf
GREEN SPACES.pdf
 

Recently uploaded

办理卡尔顿大学毕业证成绩单|购买加拿大文凭证书
办理卡尔顿大学毕业证成绩单|购买加拿大文凭证书办理卡尔顿大学毕业证成绩单|购买加拿大文凭证书
办理卡尔顿大学毕业证成绩单|购买加拿大文凭证书zdzoqco
 
专业一比一美国亚利桑那大学毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#真实工艺展示#真实防伪#diploma#degree
专业一比一美国亚利桑那大学毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#真实工艺展示#真实防伪#diploma#degree专业一比一美国亚利桑那大学毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#真实工艺展示#真实防伪#diploma#degree
专业一比一美国亚利桑那大学毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#真实工艺展示#真实防伪#diploma#degreeyuu sss
 
昆士兰大学毕业证(UQ毕业证)#文凭成绩单#真实留信学历认证永久存档
昆士兰大学毕业证(UQ毕业证)#文凭成绩单#真实留信学历认证永久存档昆士兰大学毕业证(UQ毕业证)#文凭成绩单#真实留信学历认证永久存档
昆士兰大学毕业证(UQ毕业证)#文凭成绩单#真实留信学历认证永久存档208367051
 
Pharmaceutical Packaging for the elderly.pdf
Pharmaceutical Packaging for the elderly.pdfPharmaceutical Packaging for the elderly.pdf
Pharmaceutical Packaging for the elderly.pdfAayushChavan5
 
办理(UC毕业证书)查尔斯顿大学毕业证成绩单原版一比一
办理(UC毕业证书)查尔斯顿大学毕业证成绩单原版一比一办理(UC毕业证书)查尔斯顿大学毕业证成绩单原版一比一
办理(UC毕业证书)查尔斯顿大学毕业证成绩单原版一比一z xss
 
办理(麻省罗威尔毕业证书)美国麻省大学罗威尔校区毕业证成绩单原版一比一
办理(麻省罗威尔毕业证书)美国麻省大学罗威尔校区毕业证成绩单原版一比一办理(麻省罗威尔毕业证书)美国麻省大学罗威尔校区毕业证成绩单原版一比一
办理(麻省罗威尔毕业证书)美国麻省大学罗威尔校区毕业证成绩单原版一比一diploma 1
 
Simplex ES Net Launch Technical Presentation (1).pptx
Simplex ES Net Launch Technical Presentation (1).pptxSimplex ES Net Launch Technical Presentation (1).pptx
Simplex ES Net Launch Technical Presentation (1).pptxKhaamisIqbalMazari
 
毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#degree美国威斯康星大学欧克莱尔分校毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#...
毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#degree美国威斯康星大学欧克莱尔分校毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#...毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#degree美国威斯康星大学欧克莱尔分校毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#...
毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#degree美国威斯康星大学欧克莱尔分校毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#...ttt fff
 
'CASE STUDY OF INDIRA PARYAVARAN BHAVAN DELHI ,
'CASE STUDY OF INDIRA PARYAVARAN BHAVAN DELHI ,'CASE STUDY OF INDIRA PARYAVARAN BHAVAN DELHI ,
'CASE STUDY OF INDIRA PARYAVARAN BHAVAN DELHI ,Aginakm1
 
CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE CHAPTER 10
CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE CHAPTER 10CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE CHAPTER 10
CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE CHAPTER 10uasjlagroup
 
TYPES-OF-VOLCANOES-AND-VOLCANIC-ERUPTIOn
TYPES-OF-VOLCANOES-AND-VOLCANIC-ERUPTIOnTYPES-OF-VOLCANOES-AND-VOLCANIC-ERUPTIOn
TYPES-OF-VOLCANOES-AND-VOLCANIC-ERUPTIOnbeetchunknown
 
DAKSHIN BIHAR GRAMIN BANK: REDEFINING THE DIGITAL BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH A U...
DAKSHIN BIHAR GRAMIN BANK: REDEFINING THE DIGITAL BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH A U...DAKSHIN BIHAR GRAMIN BANK: REDEFINING THE DIGITAL BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH A U...
DAKSHIN BIHAR GRAMIN BANK: REDEFINING THE DIGITAL BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH A U...Rishabh Aryan
 
Unit1_Syllbwbnwnwneneneneneneentation_Sem2.pptx
Unit1_Syllbwbnwnwneneneneneneentation_Sem2.pptxUnit1_Syllbwbnwnwneneneneneneentation_Sem2.pptx
Unit1_Syllbwbnwnwneneneneneneentation_Sem2.pptxNitish292041
 
How to Empower the future of UX Design with Gen AI
How to Empower the future of UX Design with Gen AIHow to Empower the future of UX Design with Gen AI
How to Empower the future of UX Design with Gen AIyuj
 
Design principles on typography in design
Design principles on typography in designDesign principles on typography in design
Design principles on typography in designnooreen17
 
10 Best WordPress Plugins to make the website effective in 2024
10 Best WordPress Plugins to make the website effective in 202410 Best WordPress Plugins to make the website effective in 2024
10 Best WordPress Plugins to make the website effective in 2024digital learning point
 
MT. Marseille an Archipelago. Strategies for Integrating Residential Communit...
MT. Marseille an Archipelago. Strategies for Integrating Residential Communit...MT. Marseille an Archipelago. Strategies for Integrating Residential Communit...
MT. Marseille an Archipelago. Strategies for Integrating Residential Communit...katerynaivanenko1
 
Untitled presedddddddddddddddddntation (1).pptx
Untitled presedddddddddddddddddntation (1).pptxUntitled presedddddddddddddddddntation (1).pptx
Untitled presedddddddddddddddddntation (1).pptxmapanig881
 
西北大学毕业证学位证成绩单-怎么样办伪造
西北大学毕业证学位证成绩单-怎么样办伪造西北大学毕业证学位证成绩单-怎么样办伪造
西北大学毕业证学位证成绩单-怎么样办伪造kbdhl05e
 
Pearl Disrtrict urban analyusis study pptx
Pearl Disrtrict urban analyusis study pptxPearl Disrtrict urban analyusis study pptx
Pearl Disrtrict urban analyusis study pptxDanielTamiru4
 

Recently uploaded (20)

办理卡尔顿大学毕业证成绩单|购买加拿大文凭证书
办理卡尔顿大学毕业证成绩单|购买加拿大文凭证书办理卡尔顿大学毕业证成绩单|购买加拿大文凭证书
办理卡尔顿大学毕业证成绩单|购买加拿大文凭证书
 
专业一比一美国亚利桑那大学毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#真实工艺展示#真实防伪#diploma#degree
专业一比一美国亚利桑那大学毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#真实工艺展示#真实防伪#diploma#degree专业一比一美国亚利桑那大学毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#真实工艺展示#真实防伪#diploma#degree
专业一比一美国亚利桑那大学毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#真实工艺展示#真实防伪#diploma#degree
 
昆士兰大学毕业证(UQ毕业证)#文凭成绩单#真实留信学历认证永久存档
昆士兰大学毕业证(UQ毕业证)#文凭成绩单#真实留信学历认证永久存档昆士兰大学毕业证(UQ毕业证)#文凭成绩单#真实留信学历认证永久存档
昆士兰大学毕业证(UQ毕业证)#文凭成绩单#真实留信学历认证永久存档
 
Pharmaceutical Packaging for the elderly.pdf
Pharmaceutical Packaging for the elderly.pdfPharmaceutical Packaging for the elderly.pdf
Pharmaceutical Packaging for the elderly.pdf
 
办理(UC毕业证书)查尔斯顿大学毕业证成绩单原版一比一
办理(UC毕业证书)查尔斯顿大学毕业证成绩单原版一比一办理(UC毕业证书)查尔斯顿大学毕业证成绩单原版一比一
办理(UC毕业证书)查尔斯顿大学毕业证成绩单原版一比一
 
办理(麻省罗威尔毕业证书)美国麻省大学罗威尔校区毕业证成绩单原版一比一
办理(麻省罗威尔毕业证书)美国麻省大学罗威尔校区毕业证成绩单原版一比一办理(麻省罗威尔毕业证书)美国麻省大学罗威尔校区毕业证成绩单原版一比一
办理(麻省罗威尔毕业证书)美国麻省大学罗威尔校区毕业证成绩单原版一比一
 
Simplex ES Net Launch Technical Presentation (1).pptx
Simplex ES Net Launch Technical Presentation (1).pptxSimplex ES Net Launch Technical Presentation (1).pptx
Simplex ES Net Launch Technical Presentation (1).pptx
 
毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#degree美国威斯康星大学欧克莱尔分校毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#...
毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#degree美国威斯康星大学欧克莱尔分校毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#...毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#degree美国威斯康星大学欧克莱尔分校毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#...
毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#degree美国威斯康星大学欧克莱尔分校毕业证成绩单pdf电子版制作修改#毕业文凭制作#回国入职#diploma#...
 
'CASE STUDY OF INDIRA PARYAVARAN BHAVAN DELHI ,
'CASE STUDY OF INDIRA PARYAVARAN BHAVAN DELHI ,'CASE STUDY OF INDIRA PARYAVARAN BHAVAN DELHI ,
'CASE STUDY OF INDIRA PARYAVARAN BHAVAN DELHI ,
 
CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE CHAPTER 10
CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE CHAPTER 10CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE CHAPTER 10
CREATING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE CHAPTER 10
 
TYPES-OF-VOLCANOES-AND-VOLCANIC-ERUPTIOn
TYPES-OF-VOLCANOES-AND-VOLCANIC-ERUPTIOnTYPES-OF-VOLCANOES-AND-VOLCANIC-ERUPTIOn
TYPES-OF-VOLCANOES-AND-VOLCANIC-ERUPTIOn
 
DAKSHIN BIHAR GRAMIN BANK: REDEFINING THE DIGITAL BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH A U...
DAKSHIN BIHAR GRAMIN BANK: REDEFINING THE DIGITAL BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH A U...DAKSHIN BIHAR GRAMIN BANK: REDEFINING THE DIGITAL BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH A U...
DAKSHIN BIHAR GRAMIN BANK: REDEFINING THE DIGITAL BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH A U...
 
Unit1_Syllbwbnwnwneneneneneneentation_Sem2.pptx
Unit1_Syllbwbnwnwneneneneneneentation_Sem2.pptxUnit1_Syllbwbnwnwneneneneneneentation_Sem2.pptx
Unit1_Syllbwbnwnwneneneneneneentation_Sem2.pptx
 
How to Empower the future of UX Design with Gen AI
How to Empower the future of UX Design with Gen AIHow to Empower the future of UX Design with Gen AI
How to Empower the future of UX Design with Gen AI
 
Design principles on typography in design
Design principles on typography in designDesign principles on typography in design
Design principles on typography in design
 
10 Best WordPress Plugins to make the website effective in 2024
10 Best WordPress Plugins to make the website effective in 202410 Best WordPress Plugins to make the website effective in 2024
10 Best WordPress Plugins to make the website effective in 2024
 
MT. Marseille an Archipelago. Strategies for Integrating Residential Communit...
MT. Marseille an Archipelago. Strategies for Integrating Residential Communit...MT. Marseille an Archipelago. Strategies for Integrating Residential Communit...
MT. Marseille an Archipelago. Strategies for Integrating Residential Communit...
 
Untitled presedddddddddddddddddntation (1).pptx
Untitled presedddddddddddddddddntation (1).pptxUntitled presedddddddddddddddddntation (1).pptx
Untitled presedddddddddddddddddntation (1).pptx
 
西北大学毕业证学位证成绩单-怎么样办伪造
西北大学毕业证学位证成绩单-怎么样办伪造西北大学毕业证学位证成绩单-怎么样办伪造
西北大学毕业证学位证成绩单-怎么样办伪造
 
Pearl Disrtrict urban analyusis study pptx
Pearl Disrtrict urban analyusis study pptxPearl Disrtrict urban analyusis study pptx
Pearl Disrtrict urban analyusis study pptx
 

Hill Area development- Issues and Options

  • 1. Promoting Sustainable and Resilient Development of Hill Areas - Issues and Options Jit Kumar Gupta Jit.kumar1944@gmail.com Introduction; Having genesis in the natural processes/ forces for its formation/creation, hills as natural bio-sphere reserves, remain different, distinct and unique. Showcasing distinct morphology, displaying unique structure and possessing valuable flora and fauna, hills are known to hold special significance in terms of environment, ecology and economy of any region, state or country. Supportive climate and valuable natural resources make hill areas preferred and attractive destination for large community of people living in the harsh and hot climatic regions. Occupying 17% of the geographical area and housing 10% of the total population of India as a nation, besides being the origin/ source for majority of rivers and lakes of the country, hill areas remain vital, critical and important for the rational growth and development of India as a nation. Growth and development of vast majority of nation’s population living in the plain areas, hinges on the preservation, conservation and making value addition to the hill areas for the reason that economy, environment and prosperity of such areas ,directly or indirectly depends on the valuable resources of hill states. Achieving the target/goal of India becoming $5 trillion economy will remain merely a mirage and a dream without the active and rational growth and development of the hill areas Despite being gifted by nature and rich in natural resources; having large area under evergreen forests; having enormous potential for generating hydel power; possessing large reservoirs of mineral, valuable herbs, medicinal plants, horticultural products; still inherent strength and hidden potential of hill areas has not been fully understood, appreciated and valued by the policy planners and development agencies in the domain of orderly growth and rational development of the nation. This has led to marginalization, diluting and muting the role , relevance and importance of hill areas, in chartering the rational growth and orderly development of nation as a whole. Driven by neglect, marginalization and lower order of development, majority of population in hill areas face the threat and challenge posed by poverty, unemployment, social/ physical infrastructures, accessibility, environment, disasters, floods, landslides etc.
  • 2. Despite fragility and high degree of environmental sensitivity, increasing pressure of human activities has contributed its share in damaging ecology and environment of hill areas. Unscientific exploitation of valuable natural resources and putting into operation numerous ill-conceived development projects has threatened the sensitive eco-system of hills. Obvious impact of such exploitation and development has been repeated destruction of life and property on colossal scale both in hills and plains. Looking at the manner in which hill areas were globally being manipulated, marginalized and neglected globally, Stockholm Conference on Human Environment in 1972 tried to create awareness among nation’s policy planners, communities and people, about the deteriorating environmental quality and its adverse impact on global and local growth and development, It is understood that developmental policies made operational in the domain of Agriculture and Tourism Sectors in India, during the post-independence era have resulted in extensive and large scale deforestation, haphazard and unplanned development; creating adverse environmental impact and consequential ecological imbalance ;with the result most of the hill areas in India have been denuded from its natural assets and listed as ecological sensitive zones by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. However, simply declaring the hill areas as eco-sensitive zones would not yield desired dividends, unless well-focused and well- planned/designed strategies for rational development of hill areas are not put into operation on priority. It needs to be understood / appreciated that, considering the sensitivity and fragility of hill areas eco- system, including their peculiar problems and potentials, development strategy to be made operational for hill areas has to be different and distinct, both in intent, contents and approach, from what is made applicable in the plain areas , and must invariably include and involve, elements of both conservation, preservation and making value addition to the valuable natural assets existing/available in hill areas, as integral part of the defined strategy. Based on the analogy followed in the other parts, hill areas in the country also have undergone rapid change, in the pattern of the growth and development. The initial tranche of development of hill areas was witnessed during the 19th century and pre- independence, period when Britishers developed numerous towns, health resorts, cantonments etc. in the hill areas and made them accessible through the construction of road and rail network. However, these centres have now grown into urban nodes of hill regions in the post-independence period with large
  • 3. concentration of population, institutions and social/physical activities, resulting in creating numerous problems of congestion, water &, land scarcity, pollution, loss of valuable flora and fauna, destruction of scenic beauty and creating visual blight and poor living conditions. Majority of these problems have genesis and are the outcome of uncontrolled migration and uncontrolled/ haphazard development and expansion of urban settlements in hill states, in the name of promoting tourism, generating employment , promoting local economy and putting the hill states on fast trajectory of growth and development. Such pattern and approach to development has resulted/ led to large scale deforestation by denuding large number of trees from area under forests; converting forest land into plantation/pasture lands; constructing numerous dams and reservoirs in the name of harnessing river water for promoting irrigation/generating hydro- power; and creating road network without caring for the damage/destruction caused to the basic structure/ fabric of hills in the name improving accessibility in the hill areas. These problems have genesis in the approach, methodology and strategy adopted by the policy planners and development agencies, without caring for , understanding and appreciating the need for creating balance between the components of environment and issues of development prevailing in the hill areas. Considering the role and relevance of hill areas for the nation, issues facing hill areas need to be understood and appreciated more realistically and rationally, for making them integral part of the national development agenda. This calls for looking holistically at the entire gamut of growth and development of hill areas and evolving/adopting well-planned and well-designed development strategies for such areas for achieving the objectives of; promoting planned development; making hill area development rational and supportive of environment and ecology; safeguarding valuable natural resources; valuing area of natural and scenic beauty; preserving natural bio-sphere; maintaining and making value addition to the richness of the available bio-diversity besides maintaining and enhancing the uniqueness of existing eco-system and visual resources; Emerging Issues of Growth and Development in Hill Areas; As already briefed, hill areas remain different, distinct and unique in its physical structure; economic resources and social fabric . Hill areas also remain unique by virtue of its morphology, heritage and culture. Hill areas are also known for its dualities and contradictions for the reason that hill area possess inbuilt uniqueness and inherent fragility. Baes on these inherent dualities/contradictions, hill areas remain highly susceptible and prone to disasters based on natural/human interventions. Because of prevailing physiography and unique topography, hill areas , in the process of physical growth and socio-economic development, face large number of challenges/ roadblocks, which can be enumerated in terms of environment, ecology, land, resources, heritage, culture, architecture, built & manmade environment, and management. These roadblocks
  • 4. and its implications, for the rational and orderly growth and development of hill areas, have been enumerated in brief below;  Marginalizing Ecology ; Known as, study and analysis of the manner in which organisms interact with the environment around them, Ecology includes and involves, studying relationship between living things and their habitats , for creating a balanced development in any region and area. Human beings and bio- diversity area known for their closely connectivity and inter-dependence and accordingly remain relevant for creating an equilibrium between physical growth /development of human settlements and preserving/maintaining quality of environment. Human activities are known to play vital/ critical/important role in maintaining/promoting/adversely impacting the health of ecosystems around the world. Pollution emitted from use of fossil fuel is known to adversely impact and contaminate the food supply for species, potentially changing the entire food web. Introduction of invasive/new species in a new/alien environment is known to adversely / negatively impacts the local life forms. The addition or subtraction of a single species from an ecosystem, can create a domino effect on many other species, whether that be, from the spread of disease or over-hunting(National Geography). With rapid increase/spread of the human number and due to expansion of their outreach and activities, bio-diversity prevailing in the hill areas has been adversely/grossly impacted. Clearing of large areas under forest, has led to the destruction of the habitat of numerous species existing in the said area. Generation of large waste and its unscientific disposal in eco-sensitive areas has led to creating imbalance in the bio-diversity. Large scale pollution of water resources/rivers by discharging untreated human sullage and industrial waste has created havoc with the species living in such water bodies, destroying/diluting its natural habitat. Accordingly, large scale damage and destruction of the existing/natural bio-diversity has been the outcome of the existing pattern of growth and development. In the process hill areas have suffered enormously. Accordingly, it becomes important and relevant that issues related to prevailing bio-diversity in hill areas are identified, studied and thoroughly analysed before laying down/defining any agenda for rational development of the hill area.  Unplanned Development ; Hill areas in the Indian context represent a mosaic which is marked by dualities and contradictions. Despite being ecologically rich, yet these areas remain economically poor. Despite having numerous resources with enormous development potential, poverty still is the order of the day. Though rich in natural heritage still general living conditions remain sub-standard. Looking critically and objectively, these dualities and contradictions are the outcome of irrational, unplanned and unscientific approach adopted for the development of hill
  • 5. areas. From the snow clad Himalayas to the denuded hills of Aravalli, the problems and potential of hill areas have been found to be at considerable variance because of their peculiar setting and conditions. However, some of the common problems faced by the hill regions in the country include; indiscriminate felling of trees, unscientific exploitation of natural resources, large scale soil erosion, siltation in downstream areas, flooding, shifting cultivation, faulty agricultural practices, low availability of cropped lands, fragmented and small landholding, heavy pressure an agricultural land, least diversified economy, large extent of uncultivated wasteland, inadequate irrigation facilities, scarcity of buildable land, haphazard, unauthorized, unplanned, substandard constructions, linear development along the critical road network and within urban areas, uneven development of urban system, deficiency of infrastructures both physical and social and lack of accessibility. Looking at the entire context of growth and development, it can be safely concluded that hill areas are being subjected to numerous developmental forces generated by rapid population growth, changing pattern of human settlements, pattern of living , rapid urbanization and concentration of population in few urban centers. Considered and valued as sensitive eco-system , Hill areas require equally sensitive and scientific approach for ensuring its rational, planned and sustainable growth and development.  Irrational Industrial Growth; Despite rich in natural resources, industrial development in the hill areas has been of lower order and whatever industrial development has taken place, has remained confined only to few pockets, and that too mostly on the borders of the adjoining states, leaving large inner area of the hill states untouched by the industrialization, leading to creating wide spatial and economic imbalances within different regions of the hill states. Policy of incentivizing industrial growth and development in hill areas, by making available industrial growth incentives, offered under the policy framed by the Government of India, for generating employment, removing poverty, making optimum use of available resources by bringing industry to hill areas, has led to growth/shifting of large number of industries to the hill areas in the pockets located in close proximity of state boundary. In the absence of any planned development, these industries have mushroomed in a haphazard and unplanned manner, without any basic infrastructure, which has adversely impacted the environment and ecology of the state. Large number of polluting pharmaceutical industries established have also created havoc with the local/state ecology, polluting the environment and fresh water resources in this process. Setting up of large number of industrial units have also attracted large work force to run the industry. In the absence of adequate affordable housing available in close proximity , large number of slums have also mushroomed in the industrial area besides putting developmental pressure on
  • 6. rural/urban settlements. The vast potential offered by hill area in terms of excellent pollution free climate, availability of abundant horticultural products in terms of quality fruits, vegetables, rare herbal flora and fauna; existence of huge deposits of natural resources etc. have not been properly exploited for improving the state economy. Existing pattern of industrial growth and development has done more damage than good to state resources, environment and economy and in the process unplanned industrial growth has emerged as one of the major bottlenecks in the rational development of hill areas. Pattern of industrial growth accordingly needs to be critically looked into and appropriately rationalized to make it supportive of the hill area environment, economy and sustainability.  Uncontrolled and Unregulated Tourism; Because of unique and supportive climate, wonderful natural resources, different and distinct morphology, serene environment, existence of large variety of flora and fauna and possessing unique culture and heritage, Tourism has emerged as one of the most preferred activities, on the development agenda of the state governments, to usher an era of growth and development, promoting economy, generating employment, banishing poverty and promoting infrastructure in hill areas. Accordingly, all hill states across nation, are racing to put in place numerous policies and programs, which would promote the state as the preferred tourist destination, within and outside the country. As a result, hill areas are now witnessing enormous influx of tourists and in the process rapid growth and development of tourist related facilities and infrastructures. Though tourism is being encouraged on considerations of economy and employment, but its impact on bio-diversity, eco-system, ecology, environment, culture, growth and development have been found to be highly adverse. It needs to be understood and appreciated that tourism, as an activity, remains a double edged weapon, which has been wielded by communities and people from non-hill states , for siphoning of resources from the hill states, damaging and bringing large scale destruction of valuable flora and fauna, loss of natural resources causing irreparable damage to local culture, values and loss of vital heritage in the hill states. Uncontrolled tourism has done irreparable damage to the hill area’s valuable resources ,with far reaching long terms development implications. In the absence of proper planning and developmental framework, tourism related development has been found to be both haphazard and sub-standard. Hill areas in the past have witnessed enormous level of construction activity in the highly ecologically fragile areas, with slopes higher than 30 degrees used indiscriminately for putting in place concrete monsters. Carrying capacity of the area has become a non-issue in permitting
  • 7. development with real estate lobby creating structures, which are not only against all norms, standards and building bye-laws but are also violative of all cannons of planning principles, safe and sound development practices. The current practices have made the state highly vulnerable to natural and manmade disasters, putting the life and property of hill people and communities to enormous risk. The issue of regulating uncontrolled tourism and related development should form an integral part of agenda for promoting rational development of hill areas.  Spatial Spread of Settlement Pattern; Hill areas, because of its unique and difficult terrain/topography , limited availability of appropriate land, are known to have a settlement pattern which remains generally thin and widely dispersed. Human settlements accordingly remain small and dispersed but large in numbers. State of Himachal Pradesh, which has a geographical area of merely 55673 Sqkms , have as many as 20690 rural settlements v and only 59 urban centres, with level of urbanization standing at 10.08% ( census 2011). Looking at the existing settlement scenario in general and urban settlements framework in particular’ in the hill areas, it can be clearly observed that existing mosaic of settlement structure is dominated by few urban centres, having large concentration of population, and large number of small sized rural settlements, spread far and wide leaving large tracts of areas which remain ill- serviced by basic amenities and services for human living . Wide variations existing in the settlement structure and with low population density prevailing within hill settlements , limits the policy options for development. Large number of thinly spread settlements makes it difficult to promote planned development , make provision and ensure access of basic services and amenities ,essential for human living / working, providing connectivity and ensuring appropriate order of quality of life to the inhabitants of such settlements. Existing pattern of human settlements, spread far and wide, need different planning and developmental strategies/options for promoting planned development of such settlements and making accessible basic amenities/services to all the inhabitants of such settlements, both rural and urban.  Urbanization; Hill areas in India are known to have varying degree of urbanization, with north- eastern hill states recording higher level of urbanization when compared to hill states falling in the north-western India. Hill states are also known for variable spread of concentration of population in few districts/pockets as compared to other areas within the state itself.
  • 8. Pockets of land falling close to non-hill districts are known to have high concentration of population when compared to other parts of the state. Existence of differential level of urbanization has genesis in; existing morphology of land ; availability of land for development; level of accessibility/connectivity available in the area in terms of roads/railways/air; strategic location; administrative status; availability of water and other essential supportive infrastructure; centrality; historic importance etc. Taking example of hill states of Himachal Pradesh, it can be seen that, as per census 2011; around half of population of the state was concentrated in merely 3 districts (out of 12) namely Kangra, Mandi and Shimla; all the 12 districts recoded annual growth below 1.63% with 1.44 lakh people housed in Shimla, the state capital. State has higher rate of literacy (75.9%) when compared with the national average, which makes Himachal Pradesh unique in its setting and structure. Lahul & Spiti districts recorded lowest population density of 2 person per sq. km as compared to 406 persons in case of Hamirpur district, which clearly brings out wide variation in population distribution in the state. As per projections made, state was likely to have total population of 83.93 lakh in 2021 with level of urbanization projected to be 12.48 (2021) and urban population standing at 10.45 lakhs. The wide variations in population, settlement pattern and prevailing density within the state brings out numerous planning and development issues which call for different options and strategies to be put in place for each part of the state, keeping in view their problems and potentials. However, looking at the entire context, hill states should invariably have low level of urbanization when compared to non-hill states. Hill states should carry out a detailed survey of the state and identify area/pockets fit for human settlements / urbanization and all development must be limited to the identified areas. However , density of population must be dictated by amount of land available, slope of hills, availability of water, soil bearing capacity and local environment/ecology. Further, depending upon the load bearing capacity of land ; typologies of construction must be decided. Plotted development in hill settlements must be dispensed with and should be replaced by flatted development of low height and low spread to conserve the precious land resource. Cities/towns proposed must be made people/environment embedded with appropriate quality of life. Pattern adopted by Japan for its urbanization based in a limited area could be studied and evaluated for its appropriateness for state of Himachal Pradesh.  Land; Land remains the most critical element, determining the physical growth and socio-economic development of hill area besides defining its settlement pattern. In hills areas limiting factors like slope, soil characteristics, flora & fauna,
  • 9. vegetation, nature of rocks and its physical structure, have emerged as the greatest challenge in evolving rational planning and development framework for the human settlements. With limited availability and large parcels falling under eco-fragile zones, land in hill areas have come under lot of developmental stress. Development pressure generated by increasing tourist footfalls, calling for creating large number of rooms for the stay of tourists; need for creating tourism supportive infrastructure, rapidly increasing population led by increased migration , has led to creating large demand for built environment. All human activities, basically and essentially, are consumers of land , energy and natural resources. In the race of making available more land for development and construction of built environment, large scale cutting of trees is being resorted to, resulting in destruction of large reservoirs of flora and fauna in the hill state. In the absence of adequate checks and balances; well defined norms and standards of land-use with low priority being given to promoting planned development, majority of land is being subjected to sub-standard, unplanned and haphazard development. Level and intensity of unplanned development has been observed to exceed the limits of sustainability and capacity of such land. Land sharks and land mafia are emerging as most powerful lobbies in the states which are constantly on prowl, looking for more and more vulnerable areas which can be cleared, used for urbanization and sold at exorbitant price. In the absence of appropriate framework for regulating the use of land and its rational sub-division; absence of properly prepared development plans/ master plans for majority of urban areas; absence of a dedicated manpower and resources for implementing such plans; irrational zoning regulations and building bye-laws, these long -term plans and bye-laws have remained ineffective and failed in promoting planned development in the hill states. Accordingly, issue related to land ownership, land management, sub-division of land for urban purposes; land norms; conversion, preservation, utilization of land and creating balance between agricultural and non-agricultural uses, needs to be critically looked into and appropriately addressed for promoting rational growth and development besides making optimum use of available land resource. Heritage; Hill areas are known to be home and house large reservoir of valuable heritage, created by both human beings and nature, over a period of time , spanning over centuries. This valuable and vulnerable assets in the hill states has been identified in the shape of numerous buildings, temples, palaces, public buildings, public spaces, precincts, building complexes, bio-sphere reserves, lakes, dense forests, wild life sanctuaries, flora and fauna. Valuable heritage has
  • 10. also been localized in number of villages, cities and towns in hill areas. With rapid growth and spread of population, institutions, facilities and amenities in cities and towns ,the human settlements and eco-sensitive zones in the hill areas have been subjected to enormous developmental pressure. Under the impact of uncontrolled and unregulated ,haphazard and unplanned development of hill areas, most of the heritage has been lost and destroyed in the hill states. In the process , large number of heritage buildings have been tempered with, misused and abused and numerous others have been lost in the haze of unauthorized and inconsistent uses to which they have been put. Uncontrolled tourism has also resulted in causing irreparable damage to the heritage areas due to mushrooming of construction around the heritage buildings. Absence of appropriate heritage - focused building controls and development regulations , to safe guard the valuable heritage, has also led to choking of the open spaces available around such heritage buildings. Unauthorized encroachments have destroyed the important public spaces, available as forecourts of these buildings. Unplanned and substandard development has contributed its share in destroying the valuable treasure of the state. It is important that hill state, which are also called abode of God and nature, must put in place appropriate plans/options and strategies, which eliminate all possible causes which tend to dilute, mute, damage, destroy, marginalise or undermine the value, aesthetics and architectural glory of these buildings and natural areas. In addition, state governments operating in hill states, must put in place, on priority, an effective and efficient mechanism and policy framework, for identifying , notifying, regulating, preserving, conserving and managing the existing heritage, both tangible and intangible, for preserving and passing over to next generations.  Communication; Hill areas invariably face problems of creating and preserving the vital road network and regulating growth and development taking place along these roads. Roads in hill areas have been found to be most valuable and vulnerable, being best destination for constructing shops, eating joints, Dhaba’s, hotels, restaurants, repairs shops, industries and even houses. All such constructions come up along the entire length of the road immediately where the road reservation ends. Thus, most of the roads are having linear growth and development, which is totally unplanned, substandard and haphazard in nature. These structures put enormous pressure on road network causing high degree of stress on the smooth flow of traffic. Due to inadequacy of space and with areas around roads, subjected to intense development, future widening of roads become
  • 11. totally impossible. The business activities being carried out along the roads invariably spills over the right of way, creating traffic bottlenecks. In order to preserve proper accessibility and to allow roads to function as arteries carrying vital men and material across the hill areas, it becomes essential that appropriate strategies should be put in place to properly regulate construction and development along road network. No development/construction should be permitted to come up without prior approval with minimum set back defined along the roads as “no construction zone”. Proper guidelines for permitting construction should be put in place with stringent penalties imposed on the violators. Efforts should be to levy charges whenever construction is permitted which should form a corpus to be used for up-gradation of road infrastructure/network in the state. Government of India has recently launched a massive programme of creating large network of highways for facilitating the mobility and connecting major pilgrimage centres located in hill states- like Char Dhams yatra. Considering the critical implications of construction of roads/ creating a large road-network, without any scientific study and analysis of the fragility/natural structure/physiography of the rocks, has major developmental implications. Current approach of creating network of major roads has led to large scale physical damage and destruction in hill areas, which was visible during the current monsoon season in the shape of numerous landslides and damage to flora and fauna. With massive road development program launched, hill areas are likely to be subjected to massive induction/increase in number of vehicles on to the hill roads besides increase in developmental pressure, which would need to be regulated effectively and efficiently, for maintaining the nature, natural resources, environment and etc. Options Hill areas remain a mosaic of different and complex physical spaces and have all ingredients, which make it both vulnerable and susceptible to all unplanned and haphazard human actions/activities. Accordingly, hill areas need to be dealt with sensitivity , care and caution for persevering its identity and sanctity. For rationalizing the growth and development of hill areas, development strategies put in place to overcome the challenges facing these areas must focus on; identifying physical. social, economic and cultural regions ; adopting regional planning approach for planning of urban and rural settlements; promoting planned and orderly development of human
  • 12. settlements, both urban and rural; leveraging sound land use practices for rationalizing and optimizing the valuable land resource; creating resource efficient , eco-friendly and sustainable built environment; developing alternate sources of energy based on the sun, wind, water and geo-thermal resources; conserving ,preserving and making value addition to manmade/natural heritage; rationalizing tourism related activities; optimising utilization and rational development of resources etc. The basic approach to hill area development must be based on principle of development without destruction and design with nature, culture , local environment/ecology, with efforts made to eliminate any damage to the fragile hill eco-system and natural resources. Based on agenda defined above the approach to rationalizing the development of hill areas must evolve and revolve around;  Development without Destruction; Promoting sustainable Development/ sustainability of hill areas is neither a slogan nor a marketable commodity. Context, role and importance of sustainability has not been fully understood , appreciated and followed by human beings , communities and parastatal agencies in day to day living. Initially, hill areas were much better places to live, till all communities, societies respected the principle of Need as the essence and governing mandate of human living. Ever since human living has migrated to Greed and has been led and dictated by consumerism , the role , relevance and context of sustainability has been brought in; to restore ecological balance, undo damage caused by development and promote sustainability in the impacted area. Accordingly, hill areas were in much better position in the initial period of development, but in the post-independence period with rapid increase in population, massive migration and launching of numerous so called programs for development, hill areas have come under enrormous development pressure and continue to suffer from the onslaught of unplanned and irrational development. In the process hill areas have lost enormous wealth of valuable assets, green cover, bio-diversity and valuable flora and fauna besides loss of ecology and environment. In order to rationalize the growth and development of hill areas, all schemes/programs launched for development of the hill areas, must invariably include and involve the principle of development without destruction. Such a principle shall, primarily and essentially, be based on the premise of studying the prevailing ecology in the area , understanding the existing resources the context of development . Based on the study made and analysis carried out, permission for development shall only be granted to the extent , that such development does not cause any dilution , damage and destruction to the local environment and ecology. In addition, development permitted shall invariably ensure not only maintaining the
  • 13. status quo , but shall also make value addition to the area, environment, resources and prevailing bi-diversity, without any damage, dilution and destruction.  Creating a dedicated model of development; For rationalizing the growth and development, it will be appropriate that an effective and efficient model of development for hill areas must be defined on priority. Such a model must be essentially based on the study and analysis of existing peculiarities of environmental resources in the hill areas. Looking globally, two successful models of hill area development are presently available in the world which include ; European Model and Japanese Model. European model of hill areas development includes and involves ; adopting sound practices of land use planning with the help of land tenure system; development of hydro-electric power as the major sources of alternate energy; preventing destruction of forest cover and adopting development of planned and dispersed tourism in the region. All these factors are integrated to achieve the objective of conservation and development. This model is based on the premise of promoting development across the entire hill area without any damage, dilution and destruction of existing environmental resources In the Japanese model, hills have been divided into two distinct categories based on the existing morphology, slopes and existing flora and fauna. In this model entire physical and geographical area has been divided into two distinct categories. Area which is rich in bio-diversity, environment , ecology and eco-sensitive has been earmarked for conservation and area which is comparatively flat in nature and has low order of environmental issues have been earmarked for development, human habitation and large scale urbanization. Based on this analogy , eco-sensitive areas have been planned and designed as areas of low density with only 2% population made to occupy 75% of land areas; whereas balance 98% population have been settled in remaining 25% of land area, having lower order of environmental implications. Eco-sensitive hill areas have largely been used for conservation of resources, forestry, generating hydro-electric power, promoting tourism whereas other area has been used for housing large scale socio-economic and physical activities including; housing, industry, trade& commerce transportation, despite adverse impact of acute congestion and pollution. Both these models have their own relevance, advantages, limitations, importance and contexts and can be adopted with suitable modifications to suite the needs of hill areas. However, in order to promote development, preserve environment, generate employment, minimising poverty, make provision of basic infrastructure and services and to overcome the maladies and distortions caused by the concentration of activities, people and services, European model appears to be the better option for development of hill areas.
  • 14.  Adopting Regional Approach; Adopting Regional approach in planning, development and management would be critical in ensuring conservation, preservation and holistic development of hill areas without causing any damage to prevailing ecology and environment. This would call for identifying different regions existing in the state so that different options for development of different regions could be put in place. For identifying different regions indicators like; altitude, topography, resources, slope, existing, vegetation, soil, average rainfall, accessibility, pattern of development, spatial distribution of human settlements and population could be used to classify state into areas ranging from extremely sensitive, highly sensitive, medium sensitive and low sensitive zones. Based on the demarcation made the development strategy should revolve around; preservation becoming hallmark of strategy for areas of high sensitivity and development getting concentrated in zones of medium and low sensitivity. All ecologically degraded areas which have become derelict over a period of time should become priority area for restoration , reclamation and housing development activities. However, all developments must be properly planned keeping in view the carrying capacity of such areas. Development could also be directed to valley floors and upland flats in order to relieve pressure on more sensitive areas. Adoption of Regional approach will not only help in integrated development of both urban and rural areas in a mutually supportive manner but will also go along way in minimizing friction, duplication of development, clearly demarcating the role of different settlements , optimizing available resources and development of urban and rural settlements in a co-operative and collaborative manner.  Rational Land Use Planning; Rational land use planning based on the holding capacity & suitability would be another critical factor in ensuring the planned development and rational use of resources of the state. In this system approach, very steep slope could be put to intensive afforestation with moderate slopes put to a mix of horticulture plants of economic importance. The valley and plain flat lands in the hills could be put under cultivation of food crops and human habitation. Vast scope of hydel power could be tapped for generating electricity with water resources used for irrigation, recharging of ground water & ensuring growth of vegetation cover in the derelict areas. Non-polluting hi-tech industries requiring dust free environment and industries which require minimum land and resources with zero level of pollution, should be encouraged in the areas of low eco-sensitivity to generate employment and promote economic growth and development of the people and the area. Agro-based industries using horticulture and agricultural produce including bio-tech parks should
  • 15. be considered as priority area in the selected growth centres for orderly growth and development of hill areas. It needs to be understood and appreciated that hill areas need to be developed based on its capacity and resources. Considering the role, importance and relevance of land resource in hill areas, an effective and efficient policy for land use must be put in operation in order to misuse abuse of land. Such policy should focus and revolve around preserving/protecting the valuable resources and existing flora and fauna besides minimising diversion of land from agrictural to non-agricultural use.  Promoting Eco-Tourism; Promoting tourism should become the priority area on the economic agenda of the hill states. While developing tourist related infrastructure, care should be taken to ensure that such development should be in perfect harmony with the surrounding environment. Tourism supportive polices should be developed by involving local community leading to their economic, environmental and social development. Policy framework should clearly identify conflicts between use of resources for tourism and for the livelihood of local inhabitants with attempts made to rationalize and minimize them. The type and scale of tourism development to be permitted in any area should be commensurate with the environment and socio- cultural characteristics of the local community. Tourism should be planned as an integral part of overall area development strategy guided by an integrated land use planning. Potential of tourism should be appropriately leveraged not only in generating employment, improving economy but also providing basic infrastructure and services in the area and promoting local culture and local skills. In order to make tourism supportive of development, it will be critical and valuable to involve and make local communities’ integral part of tourism planning, development and management. Tourism and l tourism related issues in hill areas must be addressed squarely within the framework of Eco-Tourism policy and guidelines, 1997, evolved by the Department of Tourism, Government of India, for making optimum use of tourism as an effective and efficient mechanism of rational growth and development.  Valuing Heritage Preservation; Considering the existence of enormous wealth of nature and manmade resources ,Heritage Preservation should be adequately and appropriately included and addressed in the development of hill areas. Any strategy which does not include and involve heritage preservation as its essential part would be self-defeating and will prove to be counterproductive in the longer run. All hill states must put in place appropriate planning framework, development guidelines and heritage related regulations to identity the valuable heritage and suggest strategies for its
  • 16. conservation preservation and integration with the existing and proposed development. It would be essential that such framework must be put in place immediately to minimize damage to the heritage buildings and heritage areas. Concept of heritage areas, heritage zones and heritage cities/towns should also be put in place to protect the total environment in heritage rich areas. In order to make heritage conservation a community-led program; adequate incentives need to be built in to encourage people in preserving valuable heritage with stringent measures put in place to discourage destruction of such areas. Development controls for these areas should be sensitively designed so that no new construction changes the basic character of the area. People must be educated about the need, role, relevance and importance of heritage and its preservation & conservation in order to involve /make them partners in the entire process of heritage conservation , preservation and management. States must also identify both tangible and intangible cultural resources for their preservation and conservation. Adopting concept of listed buildings would help in identifying the tangible heritage in hill areas. However, creating adequate and making provision of adequate financial and manpower resources will remain critical for preserving and promoting heritage. Resources in hill states.  Planned Development; Looking at the entire gamut of hill area development, it appears that options available are very limited for promoting rational development and protecting, preserving ecology, environment and resources of the hill areas. The limited option which appears to be available is to go for and make optimum use of planned development of hill areas based on sustainability, as defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development. Accordingly, hill states must put in position appropriately skilled manpower and machinery for evolving rational framework for planning , development and management of human settlements and development, at state , regional and local level , in order to ensure that entire future growth and development takes place within the given framework. This would require putting in places well equipped and state of art Architecture and Town Planning units at the state and local level to evolve appropriate strategies and operational framework, to make state a role model of planned development. Options for creating synergy between Architecture, Town Planning and engineering units must be explored by the state in order to make cities beautiful, sustainable, livable and providers of assured quality of life. Sooner it
  • 17. is done, better it would be for ushering an era of physical, social and economic growth/development for the people, community, area and the hill states.  Creating Urban Data Bank and Promoting GIS; Majority of the decision made in urban planning remain both ad-hoc and subjective. In the absence of adequate and accurate data base, the issue becomes all the more complex. These inadequacies are clearly reflected in architectural/town planning practices and decision making. In order to make the urban development more rational and realistic, it will be critical that accurate base plans for all cities/towns are prepared and made available at local and regional levels. These base plans/existing land use plans, must be supported by appropriate GIS based data (Geographical Information System) for each urban settlement, in order to make available latest realistic data for decision making. A dedicated data bank needs to be created for each urban settlement covering its various aspects so that preparation of detailed plans would be speedier and accurate. Such a data will help in not only for speedier clearance of various projects which seek permission, but will also help in ensuring effective implementation of master plans and selection of appropriate sites for various projects based on ground realities. Availability of accurate and reliable base plan will considerably reduce the time lag in preparation of master plans, which are invariably delayed due to non- available of such accurate base plans . Such a mechanism can also help in planning and development of services/infrastructure in the area where they are deficient besides avoiding duplication and overlapping due to absence of such plans. GIS can also be leveraged for facilitating the integration and coordination of development activities undertaken by various state/local level agencies besides prioritization/phasing of such activities