In an effort to repopulate an abandoned village, BJP MP from Uttarakhand Anil Baluni Friday adopted Baur village in Pauri district which has been depopulated due to migration and is now referred to as ‘ghost villages’ of the state. The village, which was once home to 18 families in the year 2001, currently has no permanent residents.
Baluni, who is also a native of Pauri district, said, “I have adopted Baur to initiate a pilot project to address migration, which is a pressing issue in the state. The village is a ‘ghost village’ and only one or two families visit it every now and then. But, we are planning to re-populate the village by bringing basic facilities like roads, drinking water, healthcare, and electricity so that the residents who had vacated it start returning.” There are also plans to bring employment opportunities as well, he further added.
“If the work in Baur succeeds and the population that had left the village starts returning then we will spread our efforts of combating migration to more villages,” he said.
Under the pilot project, meetings will be organised with the residents of Uttarakhand who live in cities across the country including Delhi, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Jaipur and Mumbai, so that suggestions can be taken from them on the ways to repopulate Baur and other similar ‘ghost villages’ in the state, Baluni said.
Migration is a pressing issue in the state, and to address it, the state government formed a Palayan Aayog, or Migration Commission in the year 2017. A study of the Commission found that between the 2011 Census and 2017, 734 villages in the state had been completely vacated by inhabitants, while in another 565, the population fell by 50 per cent.