Critically analyze the success or failures of Border Area Development Programme in North East India.
Connectivity is one of the major hinderance which limits the development prospectus in border areas. In order to improve infrastructure border area development program along with India-Pakistan border was initiated in 1987.The objective was to meet the special development requirements of the people living in inaccessible and remote areas near the international border. With the passage of time, the nature of the program also changed with a special emphasis on balanced development of border areas.
The performance of initiative has been asymmetric and far from satisfactory. Though in the western sector, particularly in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh etc., the program was successful to a limited extent. However, in case of the north east, this initiative failed to deliver. As per NITI Aayog report “ Evaluation Study on Border Area Development Program, ” the intended goals of the program in the north east are far from being achieved. Difficult terrain, political interference, corruption, faulty implementation, poor planning and lack of coordination, fund diversion are some of the major reasons behind the failure. Even in areas where progress is good, there is asymmetry in development. Large villages were allocated most of the work under the program while smaller villages did not get adequate attention.
Development of border area is not only important from the economic perspective but it is also important from the strategic dimension. Proper planning, local participation & transparency in fund utilization can help in the better implementation of the border area development program.