Arunachal Pradesh: Model villages coming soon along the India-China border
As part of efforts to improve security along the China border in Arunachal Pradesh, the Centre is planning to create model villages to in those areas around which the locals would be settled, providing them better amenities.
The initiative is being taken under the Border Area Development Plan (BADP) where the security forces and the state government are expected to set up around 50 such villages with modern amenities such as health facilities and schooling for the locals, government sources told Mail Today.
The aim is to develop villages and habitats where population is sparse and large stretches are barren in areas where both China and India have different perceptions about their boundary.
"These villages also help us in building up a security infrastructure where they can be the symbols of Indian authority in the areas close to the perceived boundaries," the sources said.
The step will also help address the migration of locals from remote areas of the state where, in some places, people have to walk for hours to reach a road and living conditions are not good, they said.
Under the development plan for these villages, the government will improve connectivity to these places from nearby towns and cities.
"This will also encourage people to stay from where they would be able to access amenities for which they had to rush to far off areas," they said.
Sources said that recently a Chinese road construction team had entered the Indian side at a location in Arunachal Pradesh but went back after being confronted by Indian locals and the uniformed personnel.
The Indian push towards developing model villages in the border areas has come after the Chinese have hastened the activities to develop border villages on their side and have been claiming that they are aiming to develop 100 per cent of the villages in these areas as model ones.
On the Indian side, the recently-appointed Governor of the state Brigadier (retd) BD Mishra is taking deep interest in the programme as he has been touring with the security forces to review the plan.
The vast barren land stretches of border areas in Arunachal Pradesh are also a problem for the security areas as a battalion of 900 personnel has to look after stretches of 60-70 km in some places, which makes looking after border areas a bit difficult.
For this reason, the centre has agreed to raise nine more battalions which would mean induction of around 8,500 to 9,000 additional troops of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police in Arunachal Pradesh.
India is in the process of upgrading its security infrastructure in the border areas from Ladakh in the north to Arunachal Pradesh, as it had been deliberately left undeveloped for several decades in order to prevent the adversary from using it against Indian interests.
However, the thinking has changed in the recent times with improvement in road as well as military infrastructure along the Chinese border.