New Delhi, June 09, 2020.
Three months after Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat made the announcement during a special Budget session of the Assembly, the government issued a notification declaring Gairsain as the summer capital of Uttarakhand.
Gairsain, a tehsil in Chamoli district, is located nearly 270 km from Dehradun, the existing capital.
The notification was issued by Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh after Governor Baby Rani Maurya gave her assent to the move.
Chief Minister Rawat said Gairsain (or Bhararisain) would be developed as a hill capital, with the work plan being drafted in consultation with planners and experts. To avoid having to physically shift files between Dehradun and Gairsain, work on a concept of e-Vidhan Sabha is being done, the CM said.
The CM also added that the Rishikesh-Karnaprayag railway project, once completed, would bring Gairsain closer to a rail network.
Even when Uttarakhand was carved out as a separate state from Uttar Pradesh on November 9, 2000, statehood activists had contended that Gairsain was best suited to be the capital of the mountainous state since it lay between both the Kumaon and Garhwal regions. But it was Dehradun, in the plains, that was named the ‘temporary capital’, triggering discontent that the hilly areas of the state would be neglected.
In its Vision Document released before the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP had promised to equip Gairsain with “top-class infrastructure” and consider declaring it as a summer capital. On March 4 this year, the state government held a special Budget Session of the Assembly in Gairsain, where it was named the state’s summer capital.
Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Indira Hridyesh, said, “The buildings and infrastructure in Gairsain were developed during the regimes of Congress-led governments. But the BJP took credit by making an announcement in the House. They are playing politics because they are not saying where the ‘permanent’ capital is.”