Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on May 23 that special efforts should be made to establish connectivity with 168 “unconnected” border villages. The villages are located along the Chinese border in Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Ladakh.
The minister was speaking at the inauguration of a workshop on Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) that was approved by the Union Cabinet on February 15. VVP will cover 2,967 villages in 46 border blocks of 19 districts in four States and one Union Territory along the Chinese border. The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and was attended by State and Central government officials.
Mr. Shah said the government has taken several initiatives to improve the border infrastructure and the VVP has been launched to “stop migration from border villages.”
He said that that VVP focuses on two aspects - to stop migration from far-flung areas that experience tough climatic conditions and developing these villages thus adding an extra layer of security.
Mr. Shah said that 30% of the daily expenditure of ITBP should be linked with rural employment opportunities. He added that District Collectors in border districts should take at least five initiatives to give impetus to VVP such as promotion of tourism, agriculture, handicrafts and cooperatives and encouraging home-stays.
The meeting was attended by Director General, Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force, the Central police force that is deployed along the China border.