Developing the border areas of J&K

Due to lack of facilities, and presence of several problems, large section of population has migrated from these areas to towns. Now significant attention is being paid to eliminate the poverty and backwardness of these border areas.
View of a BRO Road over Sadhana top, at an elevation of 10269 ft above the sea level, connecting Karnah Vallev with rest of the Valley.
View of a BRO Road over Sadhana top, at an elevation of 10269 ft above the sea level, connecting Karnah Vallev with rest of the Valley.Author

Border areas of Jammu and Kashmir faced multiple issue from last many years because of frequent tensions between India and Pakistan; due to which economic activity and development suffered badly in these areas.

Though people living in rest of the areas were able to prosper and progress but population living in border areas could not get the same.

Human resource development in these areas could not take place which is very unfortunate. But things are moving towards right direction now and people living in these areas are showing their talent and capabilities they have.

Building resilience through the capability development of this particular community is more important now. Government has been able to establish peace and prosperity not only in the mainland land but border areas of Jammu and Kashmir are now equally participant in the development.

The decisions Government of India took in the interests of people living in the border areas are praiseworthy as on February 25, 2021, India and Pakistan agreed to strictly observe all ceasefire agreements along the LoC and other sectors.

People living in villages near the Line of Control are now happily living a normal life and have hugely benefited from the ceasefire agreement. Due to the ceasefire a new dawn of development has started in all the areas close to line of control.

Due to peace on the borders the government of India has been able to promote the concept of border tourism, which has changed things altogether. Peace on borders has given a sense of security to the people as well to the government agencies which are involved in different developmental works in these border habitations. Now Significant attention is being paid to eliminate the poverty and backwardness of these border areas.

Ministry of Home Affairs is implementing the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) in areas located within 10 Kilometres. The BADP aims to meet the unique developmental requirements of distant areas near the international border and to develop essential infrastructure in the border habitations.

Government is keen to ensure implementation and timely completion of infrastructure projects approved under BADP in border habitations. The landslide decision of Government of India to bring border areas like Keran, Gurez, Karnah, Machil, and Bangus on the tourism map has brought happiness on the faces of People of Jammu and Kashmir.

These new tourist destinations will facilitate peace and development to these border areas. The Central Government is directly paying special attention towards these areas , as in the month of Sept 2021, Minister of State for Defence and Tourism paid visit to the border district Kupwara and ensured that there would be growth and development opportunities in future which include tourism as well.

The government intends to develop several areas of all districts of Jammu and Kashmir. No doubt several steps have been taken which have improved the position of such areas but lot needs to be still done. Due to lack of facilities and existence of several problems large number of people have migrated from these area towards towns.

Since more schemes are going to be executed and several schemes are already in process due to which it is expected that migration of people from such strategically important areas for better living opportunities shall be minimised. 

In the month of June 2022 Secretary Planning Development & Monitoring Department, chaired a meeting to review the implementation of Border Area Development Programme (BADP) in the border districts of Jammu and Kashmir. It was amended by Director General BADP, PD&MD, representatives of GOC 9 Corps, 15 Corps, Beacon, Border Security Force (BSF) and other concerned officers. Directions were passed to complete the projects before 31”t March, 2023 by adhering to the BADP guidelines.

Border Area Development Programme (BADP) is a Programme of the Central Government to bring about development of border areas by supplementing the UT Plan Funds to bridge the gaps in socio- economic infrastructure on one hand and improving the security environment in border areas on the other. A new revamped BADP scheme is likely to be launched by Ministry of Home Affairs which will further contribute.

Though government has done a lot to develop the border areas but some border areas are still without good road connectivity. This year in the month of June Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari has said that the border road development has changed the face of Jammu and Kashmir.

These remarks were passed by the Minister at the Mint Mobility Conclave 2022, heaping praise on all the people involved in the planning and development of border roads which he said has strengthened the security. He further

added that,“Our borders had no roads while China has built such roads long time ago. This had to end. In J&K alone, Rs 65000 crore worth of roads are now being built. Srinagar-Jammu road alone has six tunnels. Whether it is Pakistan or China, we have build border roads which didn’t exist earlier,” he said, adding that more roads are being planned to strengthen border security.

People living in border areas face several hardships which need to be resolved  at an earliest. Better road connectivity throughout the year, construction of tunnels to bypass snowbound roads, electricity, quality education, quality health care facility, Mobile/internet connectivity and several such other facilities must be provided to all the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir to avoid migration of the people living in these area towards cities and towns.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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