Considering the significance of necessary infrastructures at borders with the neighbouring countries, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to continue the central government sponsored Border Infrastructure and Management (BIM) from 2021-22 to 2025-26 at a cost of Rs 13,020 crore.
According to officials of the Home Ministry, this decision will strengthen the infrastructure for improving border management, policing and guarding the borders. “The BIM scheme will help in the creation of infrastructure such as construction of border fence, border flood lights, technological solutions, border roads and Border Outposts (BOPs), Company Operating Bases (COBs) to secure the Indo-Pakistan, Indo-Bangladesh, India-China, Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Myanmar borders”, the MHA said here on Monday.
The MHA officials also said that this scheme is primarily for setting up infrastructure at borders but the infrastructural needs of the villages located within 50 km from border are also catered from this fund such as roads, school, and primary health centre for the population living on the borders. In September, 2018, the Centre approved Rs 8,606 crore for 60 projects being implemented under the umbrella scheme of BIM to meet special development needs of people living in those areas.
Considering the ‘border population’ as a strategic asset for the country and an important element to maintain border security, the MHA has taken many initiatives to provide weather facilities to the border population so that they remain there round the year during the hostile climatic conditions.
The government has always emphasised that efforts must be made to improve social and economic infrastructure to ensure that these people continue to live in border villages and also 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.
The officials in the security forces deployed on the borders said that during the harsh weather and lack of basic necessities, the people migrate to the plain for more than six to seven months leaving their villages abandoned. The villages situated on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) also keep an eye on the misadventures by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
In these localities India and China lock their horns frequently over the boundary which is not demarcated clearly. These schemes are to develop the border village infrastructure to counter China’s attempt to alleged encroachments in Indian territory, they added.
In March 2021, the Arunachal Pradesh government announced that the three villages which are to be developed into model villages are Kaho, Musai and Kibithu in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh under a special scheme of ‘Model Village’.