FOR THE first time, eighteen departments of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) have come together to prepare a district development report for Sindhudurg. The report will now be presented to the state government.
Released by former vice chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar on his last day in office on May 18, the report is based on two basic principles of integration and sustainability.
Karmalkar said while secondary data is often referred to when preparing the development plan of a district, SPPU took this initiative to suggest policy changes based on primary data.
The project, ‘Savitribai Phule Pune University Policy Research and Analysis Project: Sindhudurg Development Report’, was started in June 2021, bringing together professors and students from several departments to conduct research to compile the report. “It will be handed over to political leaders as well as state level officials to decide the policy,” said Karmalkar.
Vaibhavi Pingale, assistant professor of Liberal Arts, Interdisciplinary School of Science, was the coordinator of the project.
The departments involved were: Center for Environmental science, Geology, Chemistry, Botany, Economics, Zoology, Anthropology, Geography, Women’s Studies, Department of Education and Extension, Lifelong Learning, Center for Skill Development, Center for Energy Studies, Center for Performing Arts, political science, health science, defence and strategic studies, Liberal Arts, and Interdisciplinary School of Science.
“We have chosen this district considering the current climate change and the need for infrastructure in it. The identified areas of development were basic Infrastructure, agriculture and food processing, tourism and hospitality sector, health, employment generation schemes for women,” she said.
The project report highlights road connectivity as a major challenge in the district and the need to make Chipi Airport fully functional to promote trade from the district. It recommends building cold storage facilities to promote aquaculture and fishing present in the district and to facilitate export of fish from the district, a port should be built.
In terms of agriculture and food processing, it states that sustainable agriculture with variety of crops can be produced in the district. Research undertaken in the agricultural institutions should reach the farmers so that they can expand their levels of production. Given the fact that climate change, natural calamities are adversely affecting the produce, type, areas and conditions of crop insurance should be restudied. To boost the food processing sector, skills training should be given to the people.
The report also highlights the tourism and hospitality sector, stating that unexplored beaches other than Devbagh and Tarkarli should be developed and sustainable tourism should be highlighted in the district so that it doesn’t harm the natural resources. Skill training for the hospitality sector should be given to individuals.
The report highlights the acute need of health infrastructure such as hospitals, testing labs, primary health care units in the district and medical colleges in the district.
It also says that awareness regarding online sale of goods, either agricultural or non-agricultural products, Geographical Indication (GI) tags should be generated and further supported.