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Amit Shah says country’s borders is a priority of the Modi government and is linked to national security

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said that the security of the country’s borders is a priority of the Modi government and is linked to national security.

Inaugurating a workshop on ‘Living Village Programme’ (VVP) here, Shah also said that development of ‘living villages’ – with all amenities, including education and health facilities – will add another layer to the security of the country’s borders.

Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always maintained that border villages are not the last villages in the country but the first villages.

The home minister said that the country’s border security is a priority of the Modi government and is linked to national security and without maintaining the security of villages, the borders cannot be kept secure, an official statement said.

He said the VVP concept was created with a focus on two main security aspects to stop migration from border villages in remote areas with harsh climatic conditions; and developing these villages and adding another layer of security.

The Home Minister said that PM Modi had conceptualized the VVP with great dedication and in the spirit of the Constitution that every border village should have all the facilities, similar to any other village on the mainland.

He said that since 2014, the prime minister had made great efforts to improve border infrastructure, then introduced several public welfare schemes for border villages and now launched VVP to stop migration from border villages.

Shah said that district collectors in border districts under VVP should undertake at least five initiatives in each border village every year to give impetus to the Vibrant Village Programme.

These include initiatives related to tourism, employment generation, agriculture, crafts and cooperatives, increasing basic amenities and achieving 100% saturation of central and state systems.

He said that VVP can actually be promoted and encouraged by emphasizing homestay facilities. The Home Minister said that there is wide scope for job creation through cooperatives in the villages under VVP. He said that at least 30 percent of ITBP’s daily expenditure should be linked to rural employment opportunities.

Shah said the Indian government has spent more than Rs 25,000 crore on border infrastructure in the last nine years. He said a 1,134-kilometer long border road has been constructed and almost all check posts have been completed.

The Home Minister said there are three main ways to develop border villages – ensuring 100% saturation of the Government of India’s public welfare schemes in villages, promoting financial inclusion and promoting digital and sentimental connectivity of villages with the rest of the country.

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