The Trivendra Rawat government in Uttarakhand hosted its cabinet meeting at Pauri- one of the worst migration hit districts of the hill state- on Saturday. The meeting hovered around the grave issue of mass migration from the district and its possible remedies. The meeting was specially organized to mark the golden jubilee of Garhwal division at Pauri.

The Uttarakhand cabinet approved acquiring 3.76 acre land for setting up National Cadet Corps Academy at Deval. Various issues related to migration were discussed in the meeting and involving different departments for generating livelihood opportunities was finalized. The focus of the state government is to work on reverse migration in the affected villages.

Pauri and Almora remain the worst migration affected districts in Uttarakhand.  The 2011 census reports a population of 6, 86,527 in Pauri district of which nearly 83.59% of the population resides in rural areas whereas the rest 16.41% is the urban population. There has been a declining trend in population over the past four censuses and a negative population growth rate of minus 1.51 has been reported in 2011 census from Pauri. The situation is alarming.

At the time of independence, Garhwal, Almora and Nainital districts were administered through the commissioner of Kumaon division. In the early 1960s, Chamoli district was carved out of Garhwal district. In 1969, Garhwal division was formed with its headquarter at Pauri. Leaving the urban centres like Thalisain, Khirsu and Kotdwara, most of the rural areas of Pauri remain hit by mass migration.

According to the Uttarakhand Rural Development and Migration Commission data, migration has taken place in 1025 out of a total of 1212 gram Panchayats in Pauri. About 52% of the migration has mainly taken place due to livelihood/employment opportunities. The trend is second highest after Almora district.

As per the survey conducted by the commission, 186 villages/toks have become depopulated after 2011 which accounts for about 25% of the total depopulated villages/toks/majras in the state after 2011. There are 112 villages/toks/majras in the district whose population has declined by about 50% after 2011.