After the Union Cabinet ministers, now it's the turn of senior officers from ministries and central government departments to visit and spend at least one night in villages situated in blocks abutting the northern border in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla has written to all ministries to send officers to visit these villages in frequent intervals for 'better on-ground assessment" of challenges faced by people living in these villages.
In February this year, the government had approved Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) as a centrally sponsored scheme for comprehensive development of the select villages in 46 blocks in 19 districts. In the past eight months, most of the Cabinet ministers have visited these border villages and different ministries are pursuing their recommendations and observations.
In his letter to all secretaries in the central government, Bhalla has written, “It has been desired that senior officers from ministries/departments visit these areas and spend at least one night in these vibrant villages for better on-ground assessment the people living in the villages of challenges and socio-economic conditions of the people living in these areas.”
He said that the officers visiting these villages should identify the gaps in implementation, planning, execution and convergence of their schemes on priority. “This may enable them to suggest innovative ways to bring transformative change in the living conditions of people in these vibrant villages,” he has said while urging them that a schedule of the visits may be prepared and uploaded on the portal to conveniently monitor the progress.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has maintained that the government considers Indian villages at borders not as the last but the first villages and that people living at the border make for the country’s strongest guards. While chairing the second conference of state chief secretaries in early this year, he had urged the states to post bright and best officers in the districts in border areas for 2-3 years in view of the emerging geopolitical situation.