Twenty years ago Uttarakhand was granted statehood separated from Uttar Pradesh. The state chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat took a landmark and historic decision in the state assembly on March 04, 2020 and has named Gairsain as the summer capital of Uttarakhand. And on 8 June 2020, this declaration has been given assent by Baby Rani Maurya, the governor of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Chamoli district. CM Rawat announced after presenting his budget speech in the state assembly. Gairsain was envisaged as the state capital during the statehood agitation.
Here is what we know about Gairsain, Uttarakhand’s summer capital.
Gairsain a tehsil in Chamoli
Gairsain is a tehsil in Chamoli district. It is a hilly area that falls on the border of Kumaon and Garhwal. As picturesque as the state is, it truly looks like an embodiment of tranquillity. CM Rawat has expressed, “I dedicate this announcement to the people who sacrificed themselves for the formation of Uttarakhand state. The decision has been taken for summer capital. It is a historic moment”.
But this is not a sudden development, preparations have been underway on war footing to build Gairsain as the summer capital of the state. The state administration has been working on laying down infrastructure to attract tourists to the place. The state government is working to provide all the essential amenities to the region so that it would be a tourist hub in the future.
What does this mean politically
BJP agenda before assembly polls
Before the Assembly Polls in 2017, the ruling BJP party had promised to declare Gairsain as the summer capital. The saffron party’s promise in its manifesto for a permanent capital remained incomplete until now. Although the region is not a permanent capital of the state, the government has declared it as its summer capital as Assembly sessions take place in Gairsain as well. Dehradun is the state capital, and it is where the state Assembly is also located. Not everyone is happy with this decision, though. The opposition leader Pritam Singh of the Congress party has criticised the government for not making Gairsain the permanent capital of Uttarakhand, thus accusing the ruling party of not fulfilling its election promise.
Leader of the opposition, Indira Hridayesh of the Congress, has said, “Women and youths who had sacrificed their lives for the state of Uttarakhand will not forgive the BJP government for this. When the Congress will come to come to power, the area surrounding Gairsain will be equipped with infrastructure, and it will be made a permanent capital.”
How to reach Gairsain
Gairsain is located at the eastern edge of the Dudhatoli mountain range, located almost at the centre of the state. It is situated at a distance of approximately 250 kilometres from Dehradun. It is easily accessible from both the Garhwal and the Kumaon divisions.
The official language of the region is Hindi, and the place is situated at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The region has a cold and cloudy climate. It’s the perfect place to escape for a summer holiday.
Here is how to reach Gairsain:
By Air: Pantnagar is the nearest airport, it is 200-Km from Gairsain. Taxis are readily available from the airport to Gairsain.
By Railway: Kathgodam is the nearest railway station to Gairsain, it is 175-km away from the new summer capital. Buses and taxis are readily available from Kathgodam to Gairsain.
By Road: Gairsain is well connected with the major roads of Uttarakhand. It is connected with both Garhwal and Kumaon regions.