Border Areas Development

Functions of the Department

The main purpose/role of the department is to look after the developmental works/schemes in the border areas. The Border Areas Development Department was created in 1973 with a view to exclusively look after the implementation of various integrated schemes and developmental activities under the Border Areas Development Programme and other programes co-ordinating with the different development departments. A border area has been defined and demarcated as a territory to a distance of 10 kms crow fly distance inside the State from the international border with Bangladesh and from the Interstate border with Assam. The length of the border which West Jaintia Hills District shares with Bangladesh is 31 km and 98.86 km (approximately) border length with Assam.

Programmes Implemented by the Department

  1. The Special Central Assistance (SCA) under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) funded by the Government of India.
  2. The Inter State Border Areas Development Programme (ISBASP) funded by the State Government.
  3. The construction, repairs, maintenance of departmental buildings, etc funded by the State Government
  4. Providing border scholarships to the border students funded by the State Government.

Background

Before the partition of India, the people living in villages near the border had a prosperous economy as their products found ready markets in areas presently in Bangladesh, then known as East Pakistan. Similarly, essential commodities were imported to the bordering areas of the state from Bangladesh and communication from these areas to the interior of the State was virtually non-existent. However, after the partition of the country in 1947, abrupt stoppage of trade resulted in tremendous economic hardship to the people living in the bordering areas of the state. The people of this region were deprived of the traditional markets to sell their products and the traditional supply lines for supply of essential commodities were cut off. With a view to ameliorate the suffering of the people, the Government had taken up various integrated development schemes under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) which had been included as the distinct item in the State Five Year Plan since the Fourth Five Year Plan period. The programme Special Central Assistance under Border Areas Development Programme SCA (BADP) is 90% funded by the central government and 10% funded by the state government.

The Department is also implementing a Programme called Village Development Programme in areas bordering Assam also called Inter State Border Areas Development Programme(ISBADP) which is 100% funded by the state government.

Selection and approval of schemes

For selection of schemes under SCA (BADP) in the district there is a District Level Co-Ordination and Selection Committee. The committee is headed by the Deputy Commissioner as the Chairman, the MLAs of Constituencies sharing border with Bangladesh and the District Level Officers of the Line Departments as members and the Assistant Director / BADO(Hqr) as the member secretary. Likewise, for selection of schemes under ISBADP, there is a District Level Co-Ordination and Selection Committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner as the Chairman, the MLAs of Constituencies sharing border with Assam, the Border Securiy Force and the District Level Officers of the Line Departments as members and the Assistant Director / BADO(Hqr) as the member Secretary

The budgetary allocation varies from one year to another. No project belonging to an individual or a scheme of individual benefit can be selected and all the projects selected should be community-based and within the confines of the recognized border villages.

Manpower

The department has 2(two) offices in the district, one at the district headquarter in Jowai and one at the border block level in Dawki. The office in Jowai is manned by the Assistant Director who is also in-charge as Border Areas Development Officer (BADO) headquarter and assisted by 1(one) Junior Engineer,1(one) Sectional Assistant, 1(one) LDA,1(one) Peon, 1(one) Driver,1(one) Data Entry Operator and Chowkidar. The office in Dawki is manned by the Border Areas Development Officer (BADO) and assisted by 1(one) LDA, 1(one) Peon and a Chowkidar.

 

Challenges

In the course of implementation of projects, there are some challenges that the department faces in the border areas such as:-

  1. Inaccessibility and remoteness of some villages.
  2. Problem of implementation of schemes in villages under adverse possession.