150 mil­lion In­di­ans liv­ing in bor­der ar­eas set to get iden­tity cards

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - FRONT PAGE - Sudhi Ran­jan Sen let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com FULL RE­PORT P10

NEWDELHI: As many as 150 mil­lion In­di­ans liv­ing in 111 strate­gic and im­por­tant bor­der dis­tricts may fi­nally get “iden­tity cards” to prove their na­tion­al­ity and im­prove se­cu­rity along the coun­try’s bor­der. Cur­rently, many of them face harass­ment on ac­count of not hav­ing proof of iden­tity.

The move is part of the planned re­struc­tur­ing of the Bor­der Area De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (BADP), se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials said on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The Cen­tre spends about ~9,000 crore ev­ery year on bor­der dis­tricts. BADP aims to meet the “spe­cial de­vel­op­ment needs of the peo­ple liv­ing in re­mote and in­ac­ces­si­ble ar­eas sit­u­ated near the in­ter­na­tional bor­der,” said a home min­istry of­fi­cial who did not want to be named.

Arunachal Pradesh, Ra­jasthan and West Ben­gal were the big­gest ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this pro­gramme, re­ceiv­ing about ~72 crore, ~81 crore and ~85 crore re­spec­tively in 2017-18.

The min­istry of home af­fairs has writ­ten to Regis­trar Gen­eral and Cen­sus Com­mis­sioner of In­dia (RGI) to ex­am­ine the “fea­si­bil­ity of is­su­ing iden­tity cards to In­dian Cit­i­zen’s liv­ing in the bor­der dis­tricts,” a sec­ond gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said.

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