Itanagar, April 17: The Arunachal Pradesh government has been focusing on developing the border areas in the state to improve connectivity and communication, and strengthen agricultural activities. These efforts have resulted in early signs of reverse migration, according to Chief Minister Pema Khandu.
The development of model village clusters, improving connectivity, and strengthening the agriculture sector through various schemes, and initiatives like ‘Mission Krishi Veer’ are some of the key interventions taken by the government to ensure the all-around development of the border areas.
For decades, villages situated in remote border areas have suffered from various challenges such as poor connectivity, mountainous terrain, weak resource base, and infrastructural bottlenecks, forcing people to migrate to developed areas. The state government’s initiatives aim to address these issues and improve the lives of people living in the border areas.
Arunachal Pradesh has the longest international border in the country, with a total length of 1,863 km. Of this, the state’s boundary with Tibet stretches for 1,126 km.
The government’s efforts to develop these border areas have been supported by the central government’s Vibrant Village Programme, which covers 455 border villages in the state. The programme aims to bring vibrancy to these areas through various interventions such as income-generating activities, connectivity, and improving social infrastructure.
The Arunachal Pradesh government has also launched the Golden Jubilee Border Village Illumination Programme, under which 50 micro, mini, and small hydropower projects of 10-100 Kilowatt (KW) capacity were conceived at an estimated cost of ₹200 crore.
Seventeen projects are being constructed under the programme in 11 districts, covering 123 border villages and benefitting 10,185 people. Additionally, 15 establishments of the Indian Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, and Border Roads Organisation, covering about 1,800 personnel, will be electrified under these 17 projects.
The state government is also exploring the use of space technology and drones in the development of border areas, and partnerships with voluntary organizations. The government’s efforts, with the active help of the central government, have seen good results, and in some pockets, they have witnessed early signs of reverse migration.
“Lack of development and infrastructural bottleneck has led to significant out-migration of the population from border villages to the foothills. Fortunately, things are changing now with our special care,” said Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein. Mein holds the charge of the power department of Arunachal Pradesh.
The development of border areas is crucial for the state’s overall growth and security. Improved connectivity and communication will not only help in addressing the challenges faced by people living in remote border areas but will also help in strengthening India’s border security.
The government’s efforts to develop the border areas in Arunachal Pradesh are a step in the right direction toward achieving these goals.