Monday, March 1

Plan to develop 100 villages along the Indo-China border to be sent to Centre

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To curb migration and generate employment in around 100 villages near Indo-China border, Uttarakhand government would soon send a plan to the Centre for development of these villages under the International Border Development Programme, said Subodh Uniyal, state agriculture minister.

The state government has selected villages from 11 blocks from bordering districts to be developed as model villages. Of the 11 blocks, four are in Pithoragarh district, one in Chamoli, three in Uttarkashi, one in Udham Singh Nagar and two blocks in Champawat district

“We have around 100 villages in blocks near the Indo-China border, which we shall develop as model villages. Under the International Border Development Programme, we are working to send a proposal to the Central government to develop these villages as Integrated Model Agriculture (IMA) villages for generating employment opportunities,” said Uniyal.

He added that in this action plan, avenues of promoting agriculture, horticulture in the border areas will be explored. The work plan will also focus on other options like fisheries, animal husbandry, dairy farming, honey bee farming scheme to increase the income of farmers.

“The objective of agricultural development in these areas is to prevent migration by bringing prosperity to the international border region. Preventing migration is also important from a strategic point of view,” added the minister.

The proposal will be developed for areas falling under one to ten kilometres radius of the villages.

In a step to boost tourism in the area and contain migration of locals from bordering villages, the state government this month ended the Inner-line permit system from the Niti Valley area in Chamoli district.

In the letter written to the Union ministry of home affairs, Satpal Maharaj, state tourism minister, had mentioned some areas under Inner Line permit regime including Gartang Gali in Uttarkashi district, Timmersain Mahadev and Niti Valley in Chamoli district and Om Parvat in Pithoragarh district. Due to the requirement of an Inner-line permit, there were certain restrictions for the tourists and civilians to enter those areas.

“The area of Niti Valley including Niti village has been removed from the Inner Line (permit regime) by the Centre, opening avenues of tourism and other development activities there,” said Maharaj.