Dehradun: As Uttarakhand completed 12 years of its existence on Friday after its separation from Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna announced a slew of measures aimed at the welfare of those who fought for statehood to the region.

Addressing a simple function in Dehradun to mark the occasion, the Chief Minister said equitable development of the backward areas of the state, especially those located in remote hilly terrain, is the primary goal of his government.

"We have taken a series of measures and many more are on the anvil which underlines the government's commitment to give a boost to development of the backward hill areas of the state which lag behind in terms of basic infrastructure, including roads, drinking water amenities and power," Bahuguna said.

He said the recent cabinet meeting at Gairsain in Chamoli district which decided to build a Vidhan Bhawan there and hold at least one session of the House there every year carries only one message that the government stands by the backward areas of the state.

Announcing a series of welfare measures, Bahuguna said families of agitationists, who went missing during Uttarakhand statehood movement, will be treated at par with the kin of those who laid down their lives at the peak of the agitation and given compensation.

The Chief Minister said the amount given as pension to Uttarakhand agitationists has also been revised from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000. Unemployed youth of the state will start getting a special unemployment allowance from Friday, he announced.

However, efforts are being made on a war footing to attract investors to the state so that employment opportunities are created for the jobless youth, he said. He said 12 places are being identified in the hill areas where the state government's industrial development programme SIIDCUL is to be further expanded.

"A boost to industrialisation means more jobs for the youth. We shall continue to woo investors to the state with that objective in mind," he said. The tourism sector will also be given a boost to generate more employment opportunities for the youth, he said.

(Agencies)

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