The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that border population is strategic asset to the country and important element to maintain border security.
Mr Singh, while interacted with field and state level officers implementing Border Area Development Programme (BADP), emphasised that all out efforts must be made to improve social and economic infrastructure to ensure that these people continue to live in border villages. He stressed that the government accords utmost priority to social and economic well-being of border population and to provide them all facilities like connectivity, safe drinking water, schools, hospitals and other facilities to ensure sustainable living in these areas. "Centre will continue assistance to states to strengthen infrastructure and development activities under the BADP", he added.
"The outlay under this programme has been increased to Rs. 1,100 crore in 2017-18 from Rs. 990 crore in 2015-16. For comprehensive and all-round development of border villages, it has been decided to develop 61 model villages for which Rs 126 crore have been released to the State Governments", the spokesperson of the Ministry said.
"Additional funds will also be made available as per requirement. Each model village will provide all basic facilities like primary health centre, primary education, community centre, connectivity, drainage, drinking water to enable sustainable living in border areas", he added.
Senior officers from all 17 States and District Magistrates from 25 border districts attended the meeting. Presentations were also given by State Governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal highlighting major achievements under the BADP and steps taken by the State Governments to improve quality of life for border population.
The Home Minister also interacted with around 25 District Magistrates who spoke about the specific issues relevant to their districts.
Ministers of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Kiren Rijiju, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Special Secretary (Border Management), B.R. Sharma were also present in the meeting.
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-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0461-1436260.Xml