Context: To ramp up infrastructure along the China border, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to spend 10% funds of Border Area Development Programme (BADP) on border projects in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim.
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- The (BADP) has been allocated Rs. 784 crore in the 2020-21 fiscal and the money is distributed to the border States and Union Territories (UTs) depending on various criteria such as the length of the international border and population.
- In 2019-20, Rs. 825 crore was granted for the scheme.
Guidelines approved by Ministry of Home Affairs:
- Preference to strategic areas: The projects for developing strategically important villages and towns in border areas that have been identified by the border guarding forces, will be given priority.
- The forces could later on be asked to conduct the Social Audit of the infrastructure created.
- Around Rs.78.4 crore (10%) has been parked for projects in areas inhabited along the 3,488 km China border.
- It said that 10% funds would be reserved as an incentive for the better performing States.
- Out of the remaining 638.2 crore, the northeastern States- Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim would get -- 255.28 crore or 40% of the remaining 80% funds.
- Around 382.9 crore or 60% funds would be allocated to Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Union Territories Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the guidelines.
- Construction of roads, bridges, culverts, primary schools, health infrastructure, playfields, irrigation works, mini-stadiums etc.. can be undertaken within 10 km of the border from the BADP funds.
- No NGO or private institution could be hired for infrastructure related work.
- The BADP, initially started in 1980 for the western border, has over the years expanded to cover 396 blocks of 111 border districts in 16 States and two UTs.
Significance of Infrastructure creation:
- It helps integrate these areas with the hinterland.
- It creates a positive perception of care by the country
- It encourages people to stay on in the border areas leading to safe and secure borders.
- It helps in augmenting storage, logistics and maneuverability of forces.
Border Area Development Program:
- The Department of Border Management, Ministry of Home Affairs has been implementing the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) through the State Governments as part of a comprehensive approach to Border Management.
- BADP was initiated in the border areas of the western region during that Seventh Five Year Plan (1985-90) period but with time it’s scope has expanded to cover 16 states.
- The programme aims
- to meet the special development needs of the people living in remote and inaccessible areas situated near the international border
- to saturate the border areas with the essential infrastructure through convergence of Central/State/BADP/Local schemes and participatory approach.
- It is the critical stock taking of any programme or scheme by the community with active involvement of the primary stakeholders.
- It includes an audit of the quality of works being executed at different levels along with the details of disbursements made, the number of labourers employed and materials used.
- The people in coordination with local administration generally conducts social audit.
- The basic objective of social audit is to ensure public accountability in the implementation of projects, laws and policies.