Developmental Success and the Sustainability Challenge in a Mountain Region: Case of Himachal Pradesh in India

Ahmad Mohd Khalid


Himachal Pradesh (HP) is one of the most progressive mountain states in India that has transformed regional development perspective in the country. HP performs better than several Indian states which score high on socio-economic indicators despite its harsh climatic condition. In recent times, however, HP is witnessing a slowdown in several sectors because of its traditional development approach leading to high fiscal deficit. This study aims to identify factors which promote or restrict sustainable development in HP using expert interview and discussion. Results show that, current sustainability challenges in HP require innovation and home-grown policies. Recommendations have been made on critical issues which can enable HP to redesign its development trajectory while maintaining its traditional hill culture and environmental leadership. The findings of this study are expected to add new dimensions and highlight emerging sustainability issues in mountain regions. This will aid policymakers, national and sub-national governments in India, countries in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region and elsewhere in the world, which can benefit from HP’s dynamic story of development and realign or replan their development strategies for a sustainable future.

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