Centre’s help needed to develop border areas: Bamang Felix

ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Home Minister Bamang Felix on Saturday sought the Centre’s intervention for the infrastructural and economic development of border areas of the State.

Addressing a function here on the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Felix pointed out the unique challenges to connect the border areas of the Northeastern State, both physically and digitally.

“Infrastructural and economic development of our border areas while maintaining peace and stability with neighbouring countries requires constant efforts and interventions by the Union Government,” Felix said.

The topography of the State and sparsely populated border regions with limited infrastructure pose a unique challenge in connecting the border areas, both physically and digitally, he said.

Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,080-km border with China, 440 km with Myanmar and 160 km with Bhutan.

The Border Area Development Programme, which is implemented by the Home Ministry, has been crucial in developing critical infrastructure for ensuring that basic amenities are available to remote regions of the State, the Minister said.

Referring to the Vibrant Village Programme (VVP), a Government scheme announced in the Union Budget for the 2022-23 fiscal, Felix said that it will be useful for border villages having a sparse population, limited connectivity, and infrastructure which often are left out of the fruits of development.

This focus of the Central government shall go a long way in improving the quality of life of the citizens in the State, he added.

The State Government, the Minister said, has launched a Model Village Programme (MVP) to strengthen border infrastructure in remote border villages.

To provide reliable power supply to the border areas, under the Golden Jubilee Border Village Illumination Programme, the Government will install and commission off-grid micro-hydels in remote border areas, which will be beneficial for people and border guarding forces, Felix said.

However, more efforts would be required for the betterment of the lives of the people living in border areas, the Minister said.

“It is important that we should focus not only on the creation of infrastructure but also on livelihood generation, a saturation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS), and improvement in the quality of life,” Felix said.

While doing so, efforts must also be on to strengthen the border guarding forces, he said.

“Our Government took an excellent initiative of repairing the old foot suspension bridges used for patrolling by security forces on the border,” the Minister added.

In terms of strengthening policing systems in the State, various capacity-building efforts have been undertaken like the up-gradation of infrastructure and the creation of basic facilities, Felix said.

A special focus has also been given to improving policing infrastructure in the Tirap, Changlang, and Longding districts as part of the TCL Action Plan, the Minister said.

The Government has also laid emphasis on the modernization of police force and procurement of modern machinery and equipment. A special package for infrastructure development for the State police has also been announced in this year’s Budget, Felix said.

For improving law and order in the State, an online Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS) has been created to ensure speedy and transparent reporting and collection of criminal data, the Minister said.

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