Vibrant Villages Programme | 17 Feb 2023

Prelims: ITPB, Vibrant Villages Programme, Shinku-La tunnel, LAC, Centrally Sponsored Scheme.

Mains: Infra Push for the Bordering Villages.

Why in News?

Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved raising of seven new ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) battalions and allocated Rs 4,800 crore under the Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) to bolster the social and security framework along the China border.

  • The Cabinet has also cleared a 4.1-km Shinku-La tunnel on the Manali-Darcha-Padum-Nimmu axis to allow all-weather connectivity to Ladakh.

What is the Significance?

  • It is aimed at strengthening the security grid on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). It will also provide a window for the ITBP to rest, recuperate and train its personnel.
  • The decision to raise additional battalions was taken keeping an eye on the need for effective monitoring in the border areas and the battalion.
  • The government's decision to approve a financial package for border villages and upgrade security comes at a time when issues with China are still to be resolved along the LAC in Ladakh. PLA troops are still squatting in the Depsang Plains and Demchok. China is also upgrading its infrastructure along the LAC.

What is the Vibrant Villages Programme?

  • About:
    • It is a Centrally sponsored scheme, announced in the Union Budget 2022-23 (to 2025-26) for development of villages on the northern border, thus improving the quality of life of people living in identified border villages.
    • It will cover the border areas of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Ladakh.
    • It will cover 2,963 villages with 663 of them to be covered in the first phase.
    • Vibrant Village Action Plans will be created by the district adminstration with the help of Gram Panchayats.
    • There will not be overlap with Border Area Development Programme.
  • Objective:
    • The scheme aids to identify and develop the economic drivers based on local, natural, human and other resources of the border villages on the northern border;
    • Development of growth centres on ‘hub and spoke model’ through promotion of social entrepreneurship, empowerment of youth and women through skill development and entrepreneurship;
    • Leveraging the tourism potential through promotion of local, cultural, traditional knowledge and heritage;
    • Development of sustainable eco-agri businesses on the concept of ‘one village-one product’ through community-based organisations, cooperatives, NGOs.

What are the Key Points of the Shinku-La tunnel?

  • It is a 4.1-km tunnel on the Nimu-Padam-Darcha Road link to provide all-weather connectivity to the border areas of Ladakh.
  • The tunnel will be completed by December 2025.
  • It is very important as far as the security and safety of the country is concerned.
  • It will also help in the movement of security forces in that region.

Source: TH