Vibrant Villages Programme’ launched in Arunachal Pradesh; to ensure quality life in border areas

‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ launched in Arunachal Pradesh; to ensure quality life in border areas

Despite the constant uproar among the Chinese administration, India continues to give a strong reaction with its bold and strategic initiatives. Taking a step further with one such initiative, Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched the ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ (VVP) at Kibithoo, a border village in Arunachal Pradesh on April 10. This centrally launched programme aims at the comprehensive development of villages at the India-China border.

The launch comes days after Beijing announced the renaming of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh, calling it “standardized geographical names” in an attempt to unjust claim of the entire state. Addressing the event, Union Minister Amit Shah strongly asserted, “India wants peace with everyone but no one will be able to encroach on even an inch of our country’s land.” He further added that the government considers the security of the borders as the security of the nation and therefore no compromise can be made with respect to the Indian army and borders.

Programme to assist in improving life of people in the border areas

The Vibrant Village Programme’s primary focus is to assist in improving the quality of life of people living in specific border communities and encouraging people to stay in their native areas, reversing outmigration from these towns and increasing border security. The government has approved VVP with central components of Rs.4800 crore, including Rs.2500 crore exclusively for road connectivity for the Financial Years 2022-23 to 2025-26.

Under this programme, 2967 villages in 46 blocks of 19 districts have been identified, abutting the northern border in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and UT of Ladakh. In the first phase, 662 villages have been identified for priority coverage, which includes 455 villages in Arunachal Pradesh. Under the VVP, the selected villages will be connected by all-weather roads, potable piped water, 24*7 electricity, internet connectivity, healthcare and enhanced livelihood options.

The VVP initiative is also being seen as India’s response to the 628 model ‘xiaokang’ (moderately well-off) villages built by China along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC), stretching from eastern Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh. China started building these new villages, which have dual civilian-military use, in 2017 and completed them in 2021 at a cost of Rs 3.76 lakh crore. Although, these Chinese villages have houses with modern amenities, but do not have occupants. On the other hand, India’s model is a people-centric programme, with an aim at enhancing the quality of life of the already existing locals.

Significance of the Kibithoo village

Kibithoo is one of Arunachal Pradesh’s most distant circle headquarters, located at a height of 1305 metres above sea level, about 15 kilometres south of the LAC and 40 kilometres west of the India-China-Myanmar tri-junction. Kibithoo had also witnessed the 1962 India-China war and is one of five formally agreed-upon Border Personnel Meeting sites between the Indian and Chinese armies for frequent briefings and interactions aimed at defusing standoffs.

Kibithoo’s present population is less than 2000 people, and the majority of the 320 homes have two or more members who live in the state’s or the rest of the country’s urban areas. The government’s goal with the commencement of this plan is to return the migratory inhabitants to their native village in the future years to come.

The programme also has a strategic viewpoint in which it is aimed that having a populated village along the LAC, will help the army to be well-informed about any mischievous activities initiated by the Chinese army. The initiative will serve as a significant component in promoting high-end tourists and would train local people to cater to tourists.

During the event, Union Minister Amit Shah also inaugurated 9 micro hydel projects of the Arunachal Government and 14 infrastructure projects for Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) worth Rs.120 crore.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post