With an aim to open the villages along the Chinese border for tourists under the Vibrant Village programme, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) held a meeting with public representatives of such villages from a number of states, including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, the Union Territory of Ladakh, and Arunachal Pradesh, reports TOI.
As per the revised Border Areas Development Plan (BADP), there are around 198 villages within the 242 km border of Himachal Pradesh with China. To start with, those villages that are situated within a 10 km distance from the last border village will be taken up on priority.
Reports have it that the last village on the border will be spotted from where an arch will be drawn to select villages that fall within the 10 km distance for development, and setting up of all necessary facilities. This will in turn help to integrate the border villages and also check the migration of tribal people.
Chitkul, Chango, and Namgia are some of the villages that are situated closest to the international border. And there are nine passes (seven in Kinnaur, two in Lahaul and Spiti) along the international boundary between India and China.
Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh said that the detailed project reports (DPRs) for the development of border villages are being prepared under the Vibrant Villages Programme to avail the benefits of the scheme in the next financial year (2022-23). He added that talks have been held with the Secretary Border Management and the Deputy Commissioners of Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts have been sensitised.
Under the BADP, the selected villages will be provided livelihood and all things required to fill the critical gaps with focus on developing tourist sites, strengthening communication, accessible road connectivity, and other facilities.