Disadvantages of Border Area Development Programme hampering bid to ready locals as a line of defence
The MLAs of Arunachal Pradesh representing constituencies bordering Tibetan China have formed a forum to prevent the outmigration of villagers and modify the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) to suit local needs.
A decades-old plan of the State government to prepare border area residents as a line of defence backfired after they began migrating to urban areas within Arunachal Pradesh or beyond for livelihood. Many such villages are almost abandoned today.
Set of guidelines
One of the reasons was the set of guidelines that made it difficult to implement the BADP in the sparsely populated and spaced-out villages across the Eastern Himalayas running along the international border.
“The border areas need to be developed to prevent further exodus of the people,” Assembly Speaker Passang Dorjee Sona said after a meeting of most of the border area MLAs.
Mr. Sona represents Mechuka, one of the 11 constituencies bordering Tibet. Chief Minister Pema Khandu also represents a border constituency (Mukto).
The forum was formed during the meeting for coming up with ideas to develop the border areas and suggest modifications in the BADP. Mr. Sona was made the chairman of the Indo-China Border Development Legislators’ Forum and Koloriang MLA Lokam Tassar its convenor.
The members underscored that the BADP guidelines hamper the implementation of schemes. One of the suggestions was to submit utilisation certificates block-wise instead of the current collective system.
The other MLAs are Jambey Tashi (Lumla), Tsering Tashi (Tawang), Goruk Pordung (Bameng), Nakap Nalo (Nacho), Alo Libang (Tuting-Yingkiong), Mopi Mihu (Anini), Mutchu Mithi (Roing) and Dasanglu Pul (Hayuliang).
Programme covers 119 border districts
Except for Mr. Mithi, an MLA of the National People’s Party, the others belong to the BJP.
The BADP was initiated in the western region during the Seventh Five-Year Plan from 1985-1990 and extended to the other regions. The programme covers 456 blocks of 119 border districts in 16 States and two Union Territories abutting the international boundary.
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