Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said the Centre has prioritised the task of creating the best facilities in border villages by introducing the concept of vibrant villages so that their population is not just sustained but also increased.

“The security of border villages will be tough if they become empty,” Shah said addressing the 62nd Raising Day ceremony of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) here. The Centre wants the border villages to be treated as first villages not just geographically but also in terms of facilities, he said.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has introduced the concept of vibrant villages to provide best facilities to people living in the border villages so that their population is not just sustained but also increased,” Shah said.

A budgetary allocation of Rs 4,800 crore has been made to create adequate infrastructural, health and educational facilities in 662 border villages of 19 districts, Shah said.

ITBP could also be made the nodal agency for carrying out developmental work in the border villages, he said.

Before 2014, Rs 4,000 crore used to be spent on the India-China border which has risen three-fold in 2022-23 to Rs 12,340 crore, he said.

He said the country salutes the ITBP Himveers for the dedication and courage with which they perform their duties in sub-zero temperatures and inaccessible terrains.

“With the ITBP securing our boundaries, no one can even think of grabbing even an inch of our land. The entire nation salutes you for your courage and dedication,” he said.

He asked the ITBP personnel to focus on their duties and assured them that the Centre will take care of their families. A quota for CAPF personnel in flights and trains as availed by the defence personnel has also been fixed by the Narendra modi government.

Shah also e-inaugurated a Self-Sustainable Energy Building (SSEB) for ITBP personnel deployed at a height of 17,000 feet and a drone service for taking supplies of medicines and vegetables to high altitude Border Out Posts, saying they will serve as symbols of a self-reliant India.

“The SSEB will keep our jawans safe at a temperature of 18-19 degrees at altitudes where it drops up to minus 45 degrees, while a drone service to take medicine and eatable supplies to high altitude BOPs will not just be immensely useful for our personnel but also for people living in the border village. It is a great new beginning,” Shah said.

For the first time in the history of ITBP, the prime minister has approved seven battalions together for the force, which four will shortly be deployed, he said.

He expressed happiness at the fact that Him Veeranganas are also working now shoulder to shoulder with the Him Veers.

Shah said the 25 years of Amrit Kaal is a period for fulfilling the pledge of making India the number one country in every field by 2047.

The home minister also said the country’s internal security has been strengthened over the past nine years.

The situation has been controlled in the three hotspots of terrorism, naxalism and militancy, he said.

While India has succeeded completely in controlling terrorism in Kashmir with the abrogation of Article 370, it has also succeeded substantially in reducing left-wing extremist activities in the affected areas and improving the situation in the northeast.

“There has been a drop of 72 per cent in terror related deaths in Kashmir, 65 per cent in the northeast and 80 per cent in left-wing extremism affected areas,” Shah said.