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Hill areas development UPSC | Regional Development and Planning | Geography of India

Hill Areas Development Programme (HADP)

Initiated during the fifth five-year plan ( 1974-78) as Designated Hill areas where special central assistance is given.

The following were covered under Designated Hill Areas:

  • Uttarakhand
  • Mikir hill and North Cachar hill of Assam.
  • Darjeeling district of West Bengal.
  • Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu.

1972, High-Level committee for the Western Ghats development.

In 1981, the National Committee on the development of backward areas included more hilly areas in the backward areas development program. The following are two criteria for choosing:

  • Areas should be an average of 600 meters above the sea surface
  • Areas should not be covered under tribal sub-plan 

Problems in Hill Areas:

The following are problems of Hill Areas:

  • Environment problems due to:
    • Deforestation; High population, shifting cultivation,  and commercial exploitation
    • Deforestation and over animal grazing leads to soil erosion
    • These two lead to the drying up of soil moisture and water sources
    • Flood in low lying areas
    • Declining soil productivity leads to declining food and cash crop production; leads to hunger and malnutrition
  • Natural Hazard such as landslides, earthquakes, floods, etc.
  • Shortage of traditional land due to mining, Dam building, population growth, industry, and agriculture
  • Lack of basic infrastructure

Objectives of Hill Areas Development Programme (HADP):

  • Eco-restoration
  • Eco-development
  • Eco-preservation
  • Socio-Economic development of people and integration with development
  • Ensure people's participation in all development activities

Strategy for Hill Areas Development:

A detailed plan was drawn in keeping view of:

  • Topographical
  • Ecological
  • Social
  • Economical conditions

Nilgiri has adopted a Watershed based plan; watershed boundary is delineated by using Remote sensing technology by ISRO. Bhavani, Moyar, and Kabini's watershed-based planning is an example. 

  • Some hilly areas programs included the development of horticulture, plantation, agriculture, animal husbandry, poultry, forestry, small scale, and village industry based on the forest product.
  • Afforestation by Village level Panchayat.
  • Identification of suitable agro-climatic zone.
  • Development of non-conventional energy sources
  • Rubber Plantation was very successful
  • Tourism sector development
  • Mining with adequate safeguards

In the 8th five-year plan ( 1992-97), a special program was launched to development of infrastructure in hilly areas.

What needs to be done?

  • Our infrastructure is not resilient to overcome the problems of natural disasters such as floods( Kedarnath flood), landslides, and earthquakes.
  • Scientific Slopes analysis needs to be done before any infrastructure development or even in agricultural activities.
  • Local knowledge along with engineering needs to be applied in the hilly area's program.
  • Needs to study the long terms of impact of development activities in Hilly Areas.
  • Need capacity enhancement at individual, society, and institution levels to overcome these problems in hilly areas.
  • More employment generation activities are needed to overcome selective male migration.

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