The Union Cabinet, chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, approved the Centrally Sponsored Scheme called the “Vibrant Villages Programme” (VVP) for the Financial Years 2022-23 to 2025-26, on Wednesday. The Union cabinet also approved the development of multiple villages along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the deployment of seven additional Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) battalions along the Arunachal border.
According to a statement issued by the PIB, the scheme has been allocated a budget of Rs. 4800 Crore and aims to comprehensively develop villages in blocks on the northern border, improving the quality of life for people living in identified border villages. Particularly significant for the state of Arunachal Pradesh, which shares a border with China, the scheme aims to encourage people to stay in their native locations in border areas, reversing the outmigration from these villages, and improving the security of the border. The deployment of seven new battalions of ITBP in Arunachal Pradesh will help in plugging the gaps along the border and ensuring better surveillance and security. This move comes at a time when the country is facing security challenges along the border with China.
In response to the Union cabinet’s approval of the development of multiple villages along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the deployment of seven additional Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) battalions along the Arunachal border, the Home Minister tweeted on Wednesday. He expressed that this is the first time that any government has worked with such determination to improve the living standards of those residing in border areas. The program aims to revitalize the border villages, prevent out-migration, and enhance border security.
According to a report, security analysts are of the opinion that the overall establishment of permanent border settlements is expected to have a positive impact on border security and help to protect India’s sovereignty. They believe that providing access to development and civic amenities will instil a sense of patriotism and belonging among the residents, which will in turn boost information flow on the movements and plans of “enemy” forces. These settlements will also serve to reinforce India’s territorial claims during border talks and make it easier to resist any attempts at encroachment from the neighbouring side.
As per the PIB release, the VVP will provide funds for the development of essential infrastructure and the creation of livelihood opportunities in 19 Districts and 46 Border blocks in 4 states and 1 UT along the northern land border of the country, helping to achieve inclusive growth and retain the population in the border areas. In the first phase, 663 Villages will be taken up in the programme.
The scheme will not overlap with the Border Area Development Programme. Out of the financial allocation of Rs. 4800 Crore, Rs. 2500 Crore will be used for roads. The Vibrant Villages Programme is expected to improve the living conditions and economic opportunities for the people living in the border areas and is a significant step towards inclusive growth and development.
The scheme also aims to identify and develop economic drivers based on local natural human and other resources of the border villages on the northern border and the development of growth centres on a “Hub and Spoke Model”.