Ghost Villages In Uttarakhand & How Water
Management is reversing this phenomenon

Deservingly called the “Land of Gods”, Uttarakhand is a state in India blessed with picturesque natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Over the years, it has come to harbor significant spiritual appeal among the hearts of many who reside in or visit the state frequently. That said, simmering beneath its stunning beauty is a grim reality that has only now come to light.

We are talking about the Ghost Villages phenomenon that has emerged in recent years. These sparsely populated settlements stand in direct contrast to some of Uttarakhand’s thriving towns like Dehradun.

The emergence of these Ghost Villages has also shed light on the severe socio-economic challenges that the state has been quietly enduring for a while now.

In this article, we want to delve deeper into this issue, understand why these villages are growing at an alarming rate, and also explain what we at Let It Count are doing to address this issue.

So without much further ado, let’s dive in.

Understanding the Phenomenon of Ghost Villages

Ghost Villages is a moniker given to settlements that have either been completely abandoned or are on the verge of losing their population. “These are permanent migrations”, said Rajendra Prasad Mamgain, who is a prominent economist now serving as a professor at Doon University in Uttarakhand.

If recent estimates and reports are to be believed, then there are a total of 1200 Ghost Villages in Uttarakhand alone. This brings us to the question – exactly what has triggered this trend of mass exodus where many of Uttarakhand’s villages are being deserted?

It would be foolish to attribute this problem to a single reason. Uttarakhand’s problem is multi-faceted. Many who decide to abandon these villages are doing so in favor of better living conditions and economic opportunities that urban areas offer.

Many of Uttarakhand’s smaller towns lack the basic amenities or facilities necessary to lead and sustain a dignified life, resulting in deserted settlements that can now only be described as Ghost Villages.

The Burgeoning Economic Challenges and Lack of Resources in Uttarakhand’s Smaller Towns.

The fact of the matter is that Uttarakhand’s remote hill districts have been deprived of the development promised since it was carved out of UP more than 2 decades ago. The economic despair in smaller towns such as Chamoli, Almora, and Pithoragarh is quite drastic and stands in stark contrast to what you see in a town like Dehradun, which enjoys good infrastructure and strong economic opportunities.

The healthcare facilities in these low-income regions are in shambles. Proper schools and colleges are pretty much non-existent. There are no jobs here as well, which has forced its younger population to move to cities in hopes of better education and employment opportunities.

With the younger population migrating to cities, most of these towns are now inhabited by very few elderly left to fend for themselves in the hilly regions. This trend has significantly harmed the state’s social and cultural fabric while also hurting its local economy.

Besides the indifference of local authorities and lack of basic facilities, Uttarakhand now also has to deal with an aggravating water crisis, which has only expedited the migration.

Uttarakhand’s Struggles with Water Management

The water crisis in Uttarakhand has been worsening with each passing year, especially in rural and low-income regions. In a way, Uttarakhand’s water crisis is quite astonishing when you consider just how rich the state once was with rivers and natural water bodies.

In essence, the water crisis in Uttarakhand can be attributed to the following factors:

1. Unchecked Deforestation
Uttarakhand has witnessed severe unregulated deforestation and land degradation in recent times. This has disrupted the land’s natural water cycle. The groundwater recharge here has been decimated.

2. Climate Change
Climate Change has led to increased temperatures and modified precipitation patterns in the region. Glacial met, which was said to feed many of Uttarakhand’s rivers has also been affected due to this change. So many of Uttarakhand’s rivers which were once an abundant source of water are now running dry.

3. Poor Water Management
The folks in rural regions of Uttarakhand lack the insight or infrastructure necessary to conserve and manage water.

This has left many without an adequate supply of water. This water crisis has had a major impact on agriculture, which many relied on for their livelihood in the region. Large farmlands have been rendered unproductive as natural water resources run dry. There has been a significant decline in agricultural activities recently as the farming practices that once sustained these people are no longer viable.

With their only source of livelihood now dwindling, people in these smaller villages are left with no other option but to abandon their homes and move to the plains.

The Importance of Water Management in Revitalizing Uttarakhand’s Ghost Villages

Needless to say, there is a lot of despair and economic travesty behind the rising number of Ghost Villages in Uttarakhand. This Ghost Villages can be deemed as a cry for help. While many things can be done to revitalize these abandoned villages, proper Water Management seems to be a solution that could prove to be the most effective.

However, water management isn’t something the locals in these small villages are equipped to handle by themselves. They need help. While the local authorities and government bodies have been largely indifferent or incompetent in this matter, NGOs have stepped up to finally lend this issue the aid it so desperately seeks.

Let It Count is hard at work to make sure one such NGO is getting the platform and support it deserves. For over 30 years, this NGO and its team of seasoned scientists have leveraged low technology and their profound insight into advanced environmental science to make rural societies self-sustainable.

This NGO is currently spearheading a project that seeks to help mountain ecosystems address the issue of ecological preservation while attaining economic prosperity. With water as its main focus, the project aims to improve the availability of water by employing watershed management techniques that could end up replenishing streams, springs, and rivers.

The success of this project could result in the revival of water sources, thus also resulting in the revival of agriculture in the region as well.

The project has already benefited over 3000 individuals and families across various districts of Uttarakhand.


Initiatives and programs like the one we just discussed are key to injecting life into Uttarakhand’s Ghost Villages and helping its neglected mountain community. This is why we at Let It Count have decided to do whatever we can to help the NGO in its noble cause.

With adequate monetary assistance, this NGO could succeed in uplifting Uttarakhand’s underserved mountain community, generating income, and bringing economic prosperity to the region.

However, NGOs like these have a lot of things working against them. They need your generosity to tackle Uttarakhand’s water crisis, revive its agriculture, and revitalize its Ghost Villages.

If you are intrigued by the project and wish to lend your support, we suggest you give us at Let It Count a call right away.