Centre's Vibrant Villages Programme Along China Border Set To Get PM Gati Shakti Backing
The Centre's Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP), which aims to improve village infrastructure and tourism along the China border, will now be integrated with the Prime Minister Gati Shakti initiative.
Gati Shakti's digital platform unites 16 Ministries including Railways and Roadways to coordinate and plan infrastructure connectivity projects, breaking down operational silos between government departments.
The Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG-N) in Gujarat has been roped in to provide satellite images and GIS mapping for projects to be taken up under the scheme.
BISAG-N will track infrastructure and land-use changes in border villages for real-time monitoring, according to an official cited by The Hindu.
VVP aims to halt border population migration among other things, stated a senior government official.
As per a report tabled in Parliament on 20 March, the Ministry of Home Affairs plans to encourage people to stay in border villages through the programme. The report added that “it will also help to gather intelligence from the people of border villages".
The Union Cabinet had earlier in February this year approved the programme to cover 2,967 villages in 46 border blocks across 19 districts along the China border in Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Ladakh, with 662 of the villages being prioritised for coverage.
Arunachal Pradesh will have 455 villages or 68 per cent of the total villages under the scheme covered in the first phase of the programme. Ladakh has 35 villages covered, Himachal Pradesh has 75, Sikkim has 46, and Uttarakhand has 51.
The scheme has been allocated Rs 4,800 crore spanning across three fiscal years till FY26, with a significant portion of Rs 2,500 crore dedicated to road construction.
According to reports, China is expanding its chain of model villages or Xiaokang villages closer to the Line of Actual Control opposite Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
On 29 March, MHA, the nodal ministry for implementing the scheme, informed the Rajya Sabha that the States have been tasked with organising various activities like fairs, cultural programs, and tourism-related events in the selected villages on priority.
Senior State and district officials along with schoolchildren are also being encouraged to visit these areas.
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