New Delhi: The Centre has decided to expedite construction of roads and develop other infrastructure along the borders with Bangladesh and Bhutan to check illegal movement of people and smuggling of contraband and fake currency notes.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal besides others, officials said.
"The meeting decided to expedite the construction of roads and other infrastructure works along the Indo-Bangladesh and the Indo-Bhutan border," Sonowal told reporters after the hour-long meeting.
An official privy to the meeting said the home minister directed the officials to improve all necessary infrastructure along the two international borders so that illegal movement of people is checked and smuggling of contraband and fake Indian currency notes is completely halted.
The India-Bangladesh border is 4,096 km long and it touches West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
The Indo-Bhutan border is 699 km long and touches Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
In September, the central government approved Rs 8,606 crore for 60 projects being implemented under the umbrella scheme of Border Infrastructure and Management (BIM) to meet special development needs of people living in those areas. The projects are implemented in 111 border districts to meet the needs of border population with focus on those living within 50 kms of India's all international borders.
The schemes include construction of roads, schools, primary health centres, promotion of rural tourism, border tourism, promotion of sports activities, cleanliness mission, protection of heritage sites, supply of drinking water, community centres, connectivity, drainage, to enable sustainable living in border areas, another official said.
Construction of helipads in remote and inaccessible hilly areas which do not have road connectivity, skill development training to farmers for the use of modern and scientific technique in farming, organic farming are some of the other areas where the projects are being implemented.