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ANI (2004.11.01): Hunger strike for Uttaranchal capital continues

[India News]: Joshimath (Uttaranchal), Nov 1 : A hunger strike by various groups demanding that the permanent capital of the state be set up in Gairsain – instead of Dehradun – completed a month Monday.

Organised by the Mahila Manch, a women’s organisation, and a state-wide joint struggle committee, the hunger strike is being staged at Gairsain in Chamoli district in central Uttaranchal.

After establishing a temporary capital in Dehradun, the task of setting up a permanent one was given to its first government. But the political leadership and bureaucracy that took power apparently found Dehradun very comfortable and, for four years, ignored the almost unanimous demand for a permanent capital in the hills.

Dehradun is not in the hills and is three days away from some parts of the state. Gairsain had been selected as the site for the new state’s capital by the Uttar Pradesh government before that state was bifurcated to create Uttaranchal. The capital issue has become a conflict between the leaders and the bureaucracy, on one hand, and the hill people on the other. [more]