Uttarakhand News

Army Chief Bipin Rawat to help stop migration, will encourage home stay projects in Uttarakhand

General Bipin Rawat has come forward to help the Uttarakhand government to prevent migration from the hills. Rawat, who is the 27th Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Indian Army, will encourage veterans and ex-army servicemen in Uttarakhand to get involved homestay projects. The COAS has given his consent to the state government and Indian army will soon appoint an officer to co-ordinate with veterans regarding the homestay projects. At present, Uttarakhand is home to 1,50,000 retired army veterans.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Bipin Rawat with PM Narendra Modi (Image Source)

Uttarakhand government’s homestay project haven’t been quite successful since its implementation in 2015. The success of the project is critical for the state as well as the nation. From Uttarakhand’s point of view, the income opportunities home-stays provide will be pivotal in preventing further migration from the hills. From India’s point of view, the increasing ghost villages near the Indo-China border could jeopardize national security. Tourism minister Satpal Maharaj met COAS Bipin Rawat in New Delhi  few days ago regarding the project.

Born and raised in Pauri district of Uttarakhand, Army Chief Bipin Rawat wants the ex-army officers to implement the homestay projects in various parts of the Uttarakhand and improve their financial conditions. The COAS also expects the men of honor will work towards the betterment of society by helping prevent migration and India’s defence strategy.

Key features of the Homestay project

This is a central government project which was implemented in Uttarakhand in 2015. According to this scheme, people could generate income by providing food and accommodation to tourists at their own house. The homestays are exempted from corporate tax. That means the tariff rate for water and electricity bill will be on domestic basis. In addition to that, unlike other hotels, these homestays are not required to be registered under Sarai Act, 1867.

Inputs from Amar Ujala