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State Overview

Economic Snapshot

Capital Shimla
Area (sq km) 56,000
Population (Census 2001, million) 6.08
Literacy Rate (%) 76.48
Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) (2007-08, US$ billion) 6.85
Per Capita Income (US$) 1168
Domestic Airports Shimla
Kullu Valley
Kangra
Key Industries Agro-based, Agro procurement, Woollens Tourism, Textiles, Cement, Pharmaceuticals, Light Engineering, Hydro power

Geography

Himachal Pradesh (HP) is situated in the heart of the Western Himalayas. It has a geographical area of 55,673 sq. Km and is located at altitudes ranging from 350 to 7000 meters (1050 ft. to 21000 ft.). It is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir on the north; Punjab on the west and south-west; Haryana on the south; Uttar Pradesh on the south-east; and Tibet and China on the east. It has a varied topography, climate and forest cover and is endowed with a vast variety of flora and fauna. It is endowed with shadowy valleys, rugged crags, glaciers and gigantic pines, and roaring rivers. The north-eastern part of the State is decorated with snow-covered, silver-headed mountains, halcyon lakes and green stretches of prairies. Besides, the State is identified as 'Dev Bhumi' and is believed to be the abode of God and Goddesses. The entire State is punctuated with stone as well as wood temples. The rich culture and traditions has made Himachal unique in itself.

The forests of Himachal Pradesh (H.P) constitute two-thirds of the Stateís geographic area and are crucial to the regionís environmental and economic well-being. They are a storehouse of rich bio-diversity which are vital in preserving the fragile Himalayan eco-system, and act as a primary livelihood source for the rural population. The favourable agro-climatic conditions of the State, facilitates production of wide variety of crops, like vegetables, fruits, flowers, rice, and commercial crops. Himachal Pradesh has abundant resources of water, land and minerals.

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Population

Population Demographics

  • Population: 6.08 million
  • Density: 109 per sq. km
  • Urban Population: 9.79%
  • Literacy Rate: 77.13%
  • Male Literacy: 86.02%
  • Female Literacy: 68.08%
  • Sex Ratio: 970 females per 1000 males.
  • Decadal Growth Rate: 12.02%

 

Economy

Since its formation as the 18th State on 25th of January 1971, Himachal Pradesh has emerged and established itself as an economic superpower. Along with its abundant availability of natural resources, such as water, minerals, forests and many more, Himachal Pradesh has a well developed infrastructure to best utilize these resources.

Himachal Pradesh has a thriving economy. Though the fulcrum of the business and economy of Himachal Pradesh is agriculture, which employs more than 70 percent of its labour force, and contributes 45 percent to its net domestic product, its industrial sector is also far from being passive. Handicrafts and electronics are the principal industries of the state, which is very rich in hydel resources, and doesn't face any electricity problems. In terms of per capita income, Himachal Pradesh ranks fourth among the states of the Indian union.

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Physical Infrastructure

Roads

The main mode transports in Himachal Pradesh are roads. Roads play an important role in the economic growth. The road sector has been given high priority. The government has provision of USD 66 million for the year 2008-09. Himachal Pradesh has eight major outstanding road projects, of which two are under implementation (Sarsa Bridge Project and Una- Bhota Highway Project).

The road network of 31 778 km, including eight national highways (NH) that constitute 1,409 km. Some roads get closed during winter and monsoon seasons due to snowfall and landslides. Regular bus services connect Shimla with Chandigarh, Kullu, Manali, Delhi, Mandi, Pathankot, Ambala, Chail and Dehradun. Local taxis are the major local transport here. District Hamirpur has got the highest road density in the country.

Railway track is accessible only to a few places in Himachal Pradesh. Realising the importance of construction of roads for connecting production areas with market centres, Himachal Pradesh Government has proposed to connect every panchayat with roads in the coming years.

Railways

The State of Himachal Pradesh is well connected through an efficient rail network. The rail heads in the State are Kalka, Pathankot and Una. Himachal Pradesh falls under the Northern Railways network.

Two narrow gauge lines connect Kalka with Shimlaand Jogindernagar with Pathankot; route length of 96 and 113 km, respectively. A 33 km broad-gauge line connects the Nangal Dam to Charuru.

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Aviation

There are three airports in Himachal Pradesh, namely, Shimla at Jubbar Hatti, Kangra at Gaggal and Kullu at Bhuntar.

An airport has been proposed for Sundernagar, to match international standards (which can accommodate landing of an Airbus A-320 or a Boeing 747 aircraft).

Waterways

Since there are no big water bodies in the State, water transport is mainly confined to the small artificial lakes created due to the hydroelectric projects. Currently, there are four major water bodies where water transport activities are being carried out. These are Govind Sagar Lake in Bilaspur district, Pandoh Lake in Mandi district, Pong Lake in Kangra district and Chamera Lake in Chamba district.

Power

Himachal Pradesh has immense hydro-potential in its five river basins, Chenab, Rabi, Beas, Satluj and Yamuna which emanates from the western Himalayas passes through the State.

The total identified potential in the State stands at 21 000 M.W, which is one fourth of Indiaís total hydro-power potential. Out of this, 6,067 M.W has already been harnessed by various agencies. Projects aggregating to 7,602 M.W are under execution. It is projected that State will have about 11,000 M.W actualised potential by the end of 11th Plan.

Thus, the State is speedily moving towards being a 'power State' of the Country. All the census villages in the State have been electrified and now left out hamlets are being covered.

Telecommunication

To compare with India, Himachal has an important level in communication (8.4 against 5 at the national level, in units).

Tele Density

Figures show that Himachal has a big position against the national level.

All telephone exchanges in the state are digitalised and are interconnected to each other by Optical Fibre Cables (OFCs). It has the highest density of OFC penetration per unit area with a 6,000 km network. HFCL, the leading telecom equipment manufacturers in the state has interests in manufacturing transmission equipment, optical fibre cable, accessories and terminal equipment in the state. The two units at Solan of the company are accredited with ISO 9002 certification with employ strength of more than 1,500 professionals.

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Social Infrastructure

Education

This state is one of the fastest emerging states in the country.

The literacy rate is 76, 48% with male literacy at 86 per cent (Census 2001). It is one of the highest rates in India. Women are more and more emancipated. It is encouraging. The state has the reputation to have the highest studies.

There are over 10,000 primary schools, 1,000 secondary schools and more than 1,300 high schools in Himachal. The state government has decided to start up with 6 major nursing colleges to develop the health system in the state. In meeting the constitutional obligation to make primary education compulsory, Himachal has now became the first state in India to make elementary education accessible to every child in the state.

The State has got Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital. Besides that there is Himachal Dental College which is the first recognized Dental Institute in the State.

Health care and medical

The Health and Family Welfare Department provides health services to the people. The state has a large network of 52 civil hospitals, 73 community health centres, 452 primary health centres, 23 civil/ESI dispensaries and 2,069 sub-centres.

State government has mapped the Health Mission 2008 for itself to provide effective and efficient health services to the people of Himachal Pradesh.

  • Increased utilization of public health services
  • Strengthening of primary health sector
  • mproving the quality of secondary health care

 

Industrial Infrastructure

The state is renowned for its excellent network of banks. It has the highest number of banking offices per 100,000 of population at 12.7 against 6.3 at the national level. The total number of bank branches in the state stood at 1 161 in 2003. There are 20 commercial banks operating with a network of 899 branches. The State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, UCO and State Bank of Punjab are the key banks with 556 branches.

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More Information on Himachal Pradesh

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