The residents of Uttarakhand, particularly Dehradun, have reacted adversely to the ‘opening up’ of Jammu & Kashmir as well as Ladakh to ‘outside’ investment and development. They warn against giving free rein to property dealers and real estate developers, which has been the bane of many parts of Uttarakhand. Short- sighted government policies, greedy politicians and bureaucrats, as well as the land mafia, have worked to not only destroy the environment and overburden the carrying capacity of the hills and valleys, but also worsened the situation in a part of the country once known for its overall quality of life. Of course, the removal of Article 370 does not mean these newly created Union Territories will leave the door wide open for unscrupulous developers and land ownership. It is important that those in charge carefully study, first, the actual needs of their UTs, plan a development policy accordingly and, above all, learn from the good and bad experiences of other states such as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and those in the North-East. Policies and regulations that are too liberal or protectionist can undo the very purpose for which the changes have been made. Himachal Pradesh, for instance, has benefited in certain ways by denying land ownership to ‘outsiders’, but in the long run has stagnated in a number of others ways. Industrial areas as in Paonta Sahib failed to take off in the second wave of the country’s industrialisation, leading to many closures. This has put a cap on economic growth, which has become too dependent on tourism and horticulture. Well established principles of governance have raised the quality of life, but jobs are scarce and the aspirations of the youths are being met only through migration. Uttarakhand, on the other hand, has been more liberal in its regulations, but has become somewhat overwhelmed by a certain not so desirable class of investor, compared to what it actually needs. There is a variety of potential investors seeking to invest in property. One kind is the metropolitan rich, whose number is rising, seeking to park money in land and housing, instead of in business ventures. Dehradun’s proximity to Delhi has made it a preferred destination. This has led to a rise in the cost of land which has inconvenienced locals in that investment in projects such as hotels and green industries has become unviable. Civic amenities and public infrastructure have also failed to keep up. Genuinely collaborative ventures have not come about because fly-by-night operators have corrupted the market. So, it is advisable that the future chief ministers of J&K and Ladakh visit these states for the usual ‘study tours’ before heading for Europe as is their wont.