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Garisain declared as Uttarakhand’s summer capital

The landmark decision makes Uttarakhand the second state in India after Jammu and Kashmir to have two capitals.

Jun 8, 2020 15:38 IST
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Bhararisen (Garisain) in the Chamoli district has been declared as Uttarakhand’s new summer capital. The Government of Uttarakhand made the announcement on June 8, 2020.

The Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh issued a notification on June 8 informing that the state’s Governor has given her assent for the declaration of Bhararisen (Garisain) district Chamoli as Uttarakhand’s summer capital.

Significance

The landmark decision makes Uttarakhand the second state in India after Jammu and Kashmir to have two capitals, separate summer and winter capital. 

Garisain: All you need to know!

•  Garisain is a town and Nagar Panchayat in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is located at the centre of the state, around 250 km away from Dehradun.

•  Though the town comes under the administrative limits of the Garhwal division, the boundary of the Kumaon division also starts approximately 15 km from the town. 

•  So the town is easily accessible from both the Garhwal and the Kumaon divisions and in a way acts as a bridge between the two regions. 

Garisain envisaged as state capital?

Garisain was envisaged as the Uttarakhand's capital during the agitation for statehood. However, at the time of the formation of the state on November 9, 2000, Dehradun was made the temporary capital of the state.

Many Vidhan Sabha sessions have been held at Gairsain. However, the successive state governments never pushed the issue of making the town its permanent capital and nor did they consider VN Dixit Commission’s report that aimed to resolve the issue. 

A three-day-long assembly session of Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly was held at Gairsain in June 2014. This raised hopes of the town being proposed as the permanent capital of the state in the near future.

VN Dixit Commission

•  The Uttarakhand government had set up a VN Dixit Commission to search for a permanent capital. 

•  The commission had looked into the feasibility of five places -Dehradun, Gairsain, Rishikesh, Kashipur and Ramnagar- as the permanent capital of Uttarakhand. 

•  The commission checked the feasibility of the places based on several parameters including geographical conditions, population, accessibility, transport system, seismic conditions and security.

•  The commission in its final report in 2008 had noted that the interim capital, Dehradun, is more suited to be the permanent capital of the state owing to factors including its nearness to the national capital, safety from natural calamities and centralised population. 

•  The commission has rejected the proposal of making Gairsain the permanent capital of the state as it is more prone to earthquakes.

Background 

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had announced after his budget speech in the state assembly on March 4 that the government had decided to make Gairsain as the state’s summer capital. 

The Chief Minister dedicated the declaration of Gairsain as the summer capital to the thousands of men and women of Uttarakhand who had fought for its statehood.

Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh to become India's 27th state on November 9, 2000. Gairsain has remained a sensitive issue in the hill state ever since its creation.