More schemes to be part of border area development programme

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) The coverage of Border Area Development Programme (BADP) has been extended while it has also been decided to include more schemes under it to meet the special development needs of people living in remote areas, an official statement said on Wednesday.

The home ministry’s department of border management has issued modified BADP guidelines under which the coverage of the programme has been extended to cover all the villages located within 10 km of the international border, irrespective of the block abuts the border or not, it said.

Priority will be given to those villages which are located within 10 km of the border and villages identified by the border guarding forces (BGF) will get top priority.

The release said that representatives of some more union ministries including rural development, sports and youth affairs, health and family welfare and human resource development have been made members of the empowered committee for BADP.

“The list of schemes permissible under BADP has been expanded to include schemes or activities relating to Swatchhta Abhiyan, skill development programmes, promotion of sports activities, rural tourism, protection of heritage sites, construction of helipads and skill training to farmers for use of modern techniques in farming,” it said.

It said that the programme also includes specific schemes such as composite development of at least one village of sizeable population as model village, construction of toilets in schools and warehouses for food grains.

Being implemented in 367 blocks in 104 districts of 17 states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal – the BADP, started in 1986-87, seeks to improve the infrastructure in border areas through convergence of central, state and local schemes.

The funds under BADP are provided to the states as “non-lapsable special central assistance”.

It was started for areas bordering Pakistan but was subsequently extended to all other land border areas.

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