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India to roll out infrastructure, roads in villages along LAC

Source : Tribune

India to roll out infrastructure, roads in villages along LAC
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India on Tuesday announced its intention of developing remote villages along its ‘northern borders’ to bring in infrastructure, roads and communication networks. These villages are near the Line of Actual Control (LAC)—the de facto boundary with China—in eastern Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Sikkim, and Arunchal Pardesh.

Border villages with sparse population, limited connectivity and infrastructure often get left out from the development gains, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.“Such villages on the northern border will be covered under the new Vibrant Villages Programme,” said Sitharaman. The description “northern borders” is used for the Himalayan frontier with China.

The programme will include construction of village infrastructure, housing, tourist centres, road connectivity, provisioning renewable energy, direct to home access for Doordarshan and educational channels, and support for livelihood generation, the Finance Minister said.

Additional funding for these activities will be provided. Existing schemes will be converged, the Minister said.

The move comes just months after it emerged that China had built villages along the LAC on its side for dual use—that means can house military troops, if needed. These villages are self-sustaining.

On the Indian side, some of the villages do not even have mobile connectivity, while regular power supply—not from locally stationed diesel generator sets—is just about reaching the last villages.

With an increased military focus on the LAC, infrastructure has to be ramped up.

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