Centre’s ambitious Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) which aims to develop infrastructure and open up villages to tourists along the China border will be integrated with the Prime Minister Gati Shakti mega project.
What is the ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’?
The Vibrant Village Program aims to-
raise the standard of living of the residents in the border communities
encouraging them residents to remain there, reversing migration from villages
enhancing border security
Focus area: As per the programme, the focus areas would be improving road connectivity, providing drinking water, electricity, mobile and internet connectivity, building tourist centres, multi-purpose centres, healthcare infrastructure, and wellness centres.
Coverage: The programme aims to cover 2,967 villages in 46 border blocks of 19 districts in four States and one Union Territory - Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Ladakh along the China border.
Out of these, 662 villages will be prioritised for coverage.
Fund allocation: The scheme has been allocated Rs 4,800 crores for the financial years 2023-24, 2024-25 and 2025-26. The amount allocated for road construction is Rs 2,500 crore.
Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Home Affairs
PM Gati Shakti:
The Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti National Master Plan is a central government project, aimed to revolutionise infrastructure in India.
The digital platform of Gati Shakti brings 16 Ministries including Railways and Roadways together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects and allows government departments to break operational silos.
Why Kibithu is significant?
Kibithoo, located in Arunachal Pradesh, is the first village to be part of the Centre’s Vibrant Villages programme.
Kibithu in Anjaw districts in the easternmost administrative circle in India.
Housing dozens of villages within the 10 km range of the McMohan line, the villagers are fluent in Hindi because of their regular interaction with the security forces but do not have proper connectivity with the mainland.
Depopulation is a case of concern in the border villages in all areas of India.
Backwardness, illiteracy, and lack of basic facilities and infrastructure are also concerning.
India’s Response to China
The VVP is India’s response to the 628 models ‘xiaokang’ (moderately well-off) villages built by China along the LAC in China-occupied Tibet (CoT).
China started building these villages, which have a dual civilian-military use, in 2017 and completed them in 2021 at a whopping cost of Rs 3.76 lakh crore.
These villages are close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), opposite Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
Beijing claims about 90,000 sq km of areas in Arunachal Pradesh of India to be a part of the territory of China.
The Chinese call Arunachal Pradesh “Zangnan” or south Tibet.
While China may stake claim to the entire state, one area is of particular significance to Beijing — Tawang.
Tawang houses Tawang Ganden Namgyal Lhatse or Tawang Monastery – the second-largest monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. China cites historical ties between the Tawang monastery and Tibet’s Lhasa monastery to bolster its claims over Arunachal Pradesh.
Arunachal Pradesh shares international borders with Tibet to the north, and northwest, Bhutan towards the west and Myanmar to the east.