Pithoragarh, September 20
Migration has increased from remote villages of Champawat district due to lack of development. This is happening despite the fact that Champawat was made a separate district out of Pithoragarh 16 years ago to speed up development in the remote areas of the region. “The district administration has failed to solve even basic problems of power, electricity and drinking water in the last 16 years, forcing the villagers to migrate,” said Basant Singh Taragi, chairman of the newly formed Zila Vikas Sangharsh Samiti in Champawat.
Taragi said he had formed the samiti due to increase in migration from the villages situated on the Nepal border. “We have set a goal of ensuring basic facilities in these villages to check migration,” he added.
According to information, though on average Rs 125 crore was spent every year on the development of the district, residents of remote Talla Desh and Gumdesh areas are leaving their villages. “The population of Bhanar, Bhool, and Nag villages in the Gumdesh area was 125, 50 and 101, respectively, in 2001. It has fallen to 97, 5 and 64, respectively, in 2011,” said Taragi.
“Besides villages in the Tamli area, those situated on the Nepal border in the Gumdesh area of Lohaghat subdivision are also witnessing migration. The population of Polap, Tarkuli, Hayali, and Akeri villages in the area has fallen steadily in the last 16 years,” he said.
According to villagers of these backward areas, they travel over 50 km to visit the district administration offices but have to face corrupt practices to get necessary documents. “This is one of the reasons villagers want to live near the district headquarters,” said Purushotam Joshi, former block pramukh of the Tamli block in the Talla Desh area.
Taragi said he would impress upon the district administration to prioritise development in these villages. “We have started an agitation and given a memorandum to the district authorities demanding steps to check migration from remote areas. We will intensify the agitation if the district administration continues to neglect these villages,” he added.

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