NEW DELHI: Asserting that border areas and the population of those regions are strategic asset of the country, the centre on Thursday said that it has released Rs 1,100 crore in 2017-18 for the all-round development of villages located along the international border in 17 states.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said this while reviewing the ongoing Border Area Development Programme (BADP) being run in the 17 states.
The home minister assured the Centre's continued assistance to the states to strengthen infrastructure and development activities under BADP According to the Home Ministry, 61 model villages, with amenities like health centre, school, drinking water, will be developed along the border and Rs 126 crore has been released for this purpose.
The issues related to thmentation of BADP were discussed at a high-level meeting held in the home ministry and attended by senior ministry officials and district magistrates of 25 districts of 17 states, a home ministry spokesperson said. The outlay under this BADP has been increased to Rs 1,100 crore in 2017-18 from Rs 990 crore in 2015-16.
The spokesperson also said that additional funds may also be made available to border regions if required, for comprehensive development of those regions. Each model village will provide all basic facilities like primary health centre, primary education, community centre, connectivity, drainage, drinking water, etc. to enable sustainable living in border areas.
Singh, who chaired the meeting, also interacted with around 25 district magistrates who spoke about specific issues relevant to their districts. BADP covers 111 border districts in 17 states to meet special development needs of border population with focus on people living within 50 kilometers of the International Border.
A total of Rs 13,400 crore has been released since the programme was initiated in 1986- 87. The home minister said the border population is a strategic asset to the country and an important element to maintain border security.
Emphasizing that all out efforts must be made to improve social and economic infrastructure for people living in border areas, Singh said that the government accords utmost priority to social and economic wellbeing of border. India shares borders with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Singh also launched BADP Online Management System for better planning, monitoring and swift implementation of various projects under BADP. The Border States can submit their respective annual action plans online and receive online approvals from the ministry.
Under the BADP programme, the estimated budget allocation for the financial year 2018-19 is Rs 770.97 crore.