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Central Assistance for BADP hiked from 990 Crore to 1,100 Crore : Rajnath Singh

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday chaired the first security review meeting with Chief Ministers of five states bordering China, and enhanced the Central Assistance for Border Area Development Programmes (BADP) from Rs 990 crore to Rs 1,100 crore.

Terming the India-China border undemarcated, extremely cold and with very difficult terrain, he said it it is all the more important that impetus should be given to boost up infrastructure and peace in the border areas.

Singh also brought up the issue of connectivity in border areas and stressed the need to overcome these challenges.

Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti (Jammu and Kashmir), Virbhadra Singh (Himachal Pradesh), Trivendra Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand), Pawan Kumar Chamling (Sikkim) and Pema Khandu (Arunachal Pradesh) attended the meeting.

A Home Ministry official said the objective of the meeting was to strengthen coordination between the Ministry and the five states to improve overall border security.

Border infrastructure work undertaken by the Home Ministry, border area development programme, and coordination issues between the states and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police came up at the meeting.

The ITBP is responsible for the security of the 3,488 km India-China border stretching from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.

The Home Minister said that the Ministry, in the first stage, is building 27 roads near the border which will be completed by 2019-20. "Approval is being given for 48 other roads."

He also stressed the need to strengthen basic infrastructure in the border areas in view of "thinning population and migration" from the border and also advocated development of model villages in border districts, asking the states to send more proposals to the central government in this regard.

He said that the states should remove obstacles in border infrastructure development and that the problems pertaining to land acquisition and clearances need to be resolved.

He advised the Chief Ministers to send senior officers every six months to border areas in their respective states to review and implement the developmental work done in the villages.

Earlier in the day, the Home Minister visited Nathula Pass and an ITBP border post at Lachung, where he met troopers deployed on the Sino-Indian border.

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