Gangtok: Hon’ble Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired the review meeting of Chief Ministers bordering with China at Chintan Bhawan in the state capital today.
At the outset of the programme, the Union Minister thanked the Hon’ble Chief Minister for the wonderful hospitality bestowed upon him and the other dignitaries. He said that the Indo-China border is undemarcated, extremely cold with very difficult terrain and thus it is more important that impetus should be given about infrastructure and peace in the border areas. The Union Minister praised the work of ITBP and said that the Centre was doing everything feasible for their smooth functioning in overcoming challenges. He stressed upon the development of model villages and said that innovative and concrete proposals would be taken up. Implementation of Border Areas Development Programs (BADP) projects and construction of border infrastructures were taken up in top priority.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Pawan Chamling addressed the august gathering and briefed them about the state and the geographical strategic importance. He said that the army, Paramilitary and the government of Sikkim implements a number of schemes under the Border Area Development Programme which is designed to meet the special developmental needs of people living in remote and inaccessible border areas with essential infrastructure through convergence of other existing flagship programmes in a proactive and participative approach. The Chief Minister thanked the Union Home Minister for his benign presence to the state.
The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat and Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Pema Khandu also briefed the Union Minister on the issues concerning development. Issues concerning border infrastructure including border roads, border out posts, critical infrastructure and coordination between the concerned States and ITBP stationed in states were some of the main issues deliberated upon in the meeting. The states of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh were represented by their respective Principal Secretaries, Home.
Earlier, Secretary, Department of Border Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Smt Sanjeevanee Kutty presented the broad agenda of the meeting and apprised about the various programs and initiatives being taken for development of infrastructure and other facilities for the security personnel and the population living in border areas.
Likewise, a brief presentation was made by DG ITBP Shri Krishna Choudhary, wherein he briefed about the functioning and issues of the organization.
Chief Secretary Government of Sikkim Shri A.K. Shrivastava gave the vote of thanks where he thanked the Union Minister for sparing his valuable time and visiting the beautiful state. He also thanked the various dignitaries of different states for attending the meeting of this kind which had happened for the very first time.
Later, addressing the press conference, Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh expressed pleasure that such a review meeting concerning infrastructure and other issues in Indo-China Border states was held for the first time. He appreciated the participation and inputs provided by the Chief Ministers of Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim and officials from the states of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. He put on record his appreciation for the contribution of Sikkim as the host state fort the meeting.
The Home Minister briefed about the various developmental projects being implemented by the Ministry in the Border States. He also shared some of the projects and proposals on the pipeline.
The Union Minister stated that along with the border security forces, equal impetus should be given for the upliftment of civilian people living in these border areas. He stated that these people are the strategic assets of the country and their basic needs should be addressed. He added that the State Government of the Indo-China Border states have been requested to look into these issues.
The Union Minister also informed that Central assistance for Border Area Development Programmes (BADP) has been enhanced from 990 Crore in 2016-17 to 1100 Crore in the current financial year.
Likewise, he informed that the Ministry is focusing on modern villages, and stated that in the last financial year, 41 model villages were created for which a financial allocation of 92 Crore was made. He further urged the State Governments to submit maximum proposals for model villages to the Central Government.
He further added that the issues concerning border areas should be jointly handled by the State and the Central Government in a coordinated way.
He stated that any hindrances like land acquisitions, forest clearances and allocation of quarries should be sorted out diligently and in a time bound manner by the State Government with support from the Central Government.
REPORTED BY: SANJAY AGARWAL