Vibrant Villages Programme along China border to be integrated with PM Gati Shakti mega project

VVP will also be part of the portal of Gati Shakti mega project, which allows government departments to overcome operational challenges

Updated - April 25, 2023 09:45 am IST

Published - April 24, 2023 07:23 pm IST

Union Minister for Home Affairs and Cooperation, Amit Shah at ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ at Kibithoo-a border village. File

Union Minister for Home Affairs and Cooperation, Amit Shah at ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ at Kibithoo-a border village. File | Photo Credit: ANI

Centre’s ambitious Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) which aims to develop infrastructure and open up villages to tourists along the China border will be integrated with the Prime Minister Gati Shakti mega project.

The digital platform of Gati Shakti brings 16 Ministries including Railways and Roadways together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects and allows government departments to break operational silos.

Also Read | Eastern Ladakh row: India, China agree to work out mutually acceptable resolution

The Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG-N) in Gujarat has been roped in to provide satellite images and GIS mapping of the projects that will be taken up under the scheme.

An official said that BISAG-N will be tracking the infrastructure and other land-use changes in the border villages for real-time monitoring.

One of the objectives of the VVP is to stop migration of border population, a senior government official said.

The report on demands for grants of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) tabled in the Parliament on March 20 stated that the objective is to motivate people to continue to stay there and “it will also help to gather intelligence from the people of border villages.”

On February 15, the Union Cabinet approved the programme to cover 2,967 villages in 46 border blocks of 19 districts in four States and one Union Territory - Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Ladakh along the China border. Out of these, 662 villages will be prioritised for coverage.

As many as 455 villages or around 68% of the total villages that will be covered in the first phase of the scheme are in Arunachal Pradesh. In Ladakh, 35 villages have been chosen, 75 in Himachal Pradesh, 46 in Sikkim and 51 in Uttarakhand.

The scheme has been allocated ₹4,800 crore for the financial years 2023-24, 2024-25 and 2025-26. The amount allocated for road construction is ₹2,500 crore. As reported by The Hindu in December 2022, China is expanding its chain of model villages or Xiaokang (moderately prosperous) villages close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), opposite Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

MHA, the nodal Ministry to implement the scheme, informed the Rajya Sabha on March 29 that States have been asked to organise activities such as fairs and festivals, cultural programmes, visit of school children, visit of senior State and district officials, tourism-related activities, promotion of handicrafts etc., in the villages identified for coverage on priority.

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