Welcome to the District of Champawat
The district of Champawat constituted in the year 1997 is situated between 29 degree 5 minutes and 29 degree 30 minutes in northern altitude and 79 degree 59 minutes and 80 degree 3 minutes at the center of eastern longitude. The Ram Ganga River acts as a border between Champawat and Pithoragarh in north while Jabgura and Pannar rivers in south and west act as a border between Champawat, Udham Singh Nagar and Almora districts simultaneously.
The long chain of mountain in southwestern region acts as a border between the district Champawat and Nainital district. It is important from the defence point of view as in the east Kali river acts the international border between Nepal and India. The geographical coverage of Champawat is about 1613 sq. km. It includes 5 Tehsil, 4 development blocks and 691 revenue villages
Champawat mainly consists of mountain ranges, large valleys, uneven landscapes, breaked cliffs, rivers and rivulets. The important rivers are Ladhia, Sharda, Lohawati, Panaar. Jagbura and Ramganga. All these rivers amalgamate with Kali River at Pancheswar. Only the Sharda river which goes to Terai area flows through. on the basis of geographical distribution it can be divided in three main parts. First one, the 35 villages of Tanakpur (Purnagiri) Tehsil fall in Terai area and are important from the view point of plain and agricultural land and a warm area of an average height of 200 to 250 meter, having abundance of water and good soil. Second one is Shivalik which is situated at a height of 250 to 1200 meter. It represents a sloping and uneven topographical land consisting of dense forests. Third one is hilly area the average height of 1500 mts (from 1200 to 2200 mts).
The climate of the district is very differential. Terai area is hot whereas the hilly region is comparatively cold. High mountain ranges are covered with snow. The climatic condition of Terai and plains are similar, the seasonal rain is very high (about 20 cm. yearly). Summers are too hot and winters are too cold and foggy in Terai region. The climate of Shivalik is more or less same but the lower region of Himalayas experience cold climate throughout the year. In summers, Champawat district is pleasant. The temperature varies from 1 degree Celsius in the year to 35 degree Celsius. Summer months are May, June and July whereas Dec and Jan are very cold.
Many ores, minerals, soils and rocks are available in the hills of Champawat. According to geological survey of India this region is having ample of lime, magnexide, soapstone, gypsum. Apart from these various ores and minerals are also available in this region such as ognexide, quanite, graphite etc. as per the GSI report.
The district is rich with natural perennial rivers and rivulets. Because of Lohawati, Jagbura, Ramganga, Kali and other rivers the scarcity of water has never been felt, but due to uneven geographical condition the major portion of water drains off through small rivers and rivulets. Only about 9 percent of total land is termed as agricultural irrigated land of the region. The major portion of land is dependent on the rain water only, which has adverse effect on agricultural production. Despite plenty of resources the habitants of the area are dependent of the rain water. In the villages women usually cover a long distance for collection of drinking water. Due to rapid growth of the population in urban and the semi-urban area, the average land holding has decreased. ECONOMY
In this district 65 percent of the area is under forest and net sown area is less than 10 percent. Only about 9% of the sown area is irrigated and agriculture is manly rainfed. Consequently, it is at subsistence level and only traditional crops are grown.
Around 82 percent of workers are engaged in agriculture and there are negligible workers in household or non household industry. On a very limited sown area a large number of people are dependent.
Although 68 percent of the villages have been electrified. But quality of power supplied is poor. There is 372 Km road length available for one lakh population and 477.5 km on every 1000 sq. km area. The nearest rail head is Tanakpur a distance of 75 km. One bank branch is available for more than 8000 population. There are total 27 Bank Branches available
It would be obvious from the above description that the economy of the distt. is based on agriculture and to some extent on minor forest produce and vegetable production. Lack of agricultural land and resources has always been a reason for the poor economic status of the rural poor. A large number of males are serving in the armed forced of the country. The family economy is more of less dependent on the money order system. The females of the region have to look after their family. The agriculture production is less as compared to the effort put in. The economic condition of Champawat and Lohaghat is comparatively better due to seasonal production of fruits. A few males are involved in conventional traditional work for the maintenance of livelihood, such as pottery, carpentry, blacksmith etc. Few villagers are also involved in animal husbandry. There are no small or medium scale industry in the region. As a result majority of population of the youth are unemployed. The region is well connected with hills and the plains through highways which has given rise to small shops and dhabas. Quite a few people are engaged in this business.
Champawat district is characterized by money order economy as a large number of males are working outside in big cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Bombay etc. either in the armed forces or other jobs since there are no employment opportunities in the district. Therefore, there is a large number of women headed households. The district is economically and socially backward with acute poverty and society ridden with outmoded traditions and even superstitions. The status of women is coupled with discrimination against girls child. The women suffer from all kinds of social disabilities and at the same time handling each and every responsibility of domestic work as well as collection of fuel and fodder and in large cases drinking water from distant places. All these factors adversely effect educational development of girls especially of poorer sectors of society and those living in remote areas.
By Air: The nearest airport for Champawat is Naini Saini, Pithoragarh(80 kms). The nearest operational airport is at Pantnagar Udham Singh nagar.
By Rail: Nearest rail head for Champawat is Tanakpur at a distance of 75 kms
By Road: Champawat is well connected by road. Nainital (233 kms), Haldwani(193 kms), Pithoragarh (75 kms) and Tanakpur (75 kms)