Background Note and the Functions of the Border Areas Development Department
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 which had been included as the distinct item in the State Five Year Plan since the Fourth Five Year Plan period. For the purpose, the border areas have been defined and demarcated as a territory to the distance of 10 kms crow fly distance inside the state from the international border with Bangladesh. While demarcating the border areas of the state contiguous to the international border with Bangladesh, the following criteria were taken into account: -
a) Distance from the international boundary with Bangladesh ( approx. 10 kms crow fly Distance upto 20kms crowfly distance - revised in 2015.)
b) Degree of economic backwardness and
c) Dependence upon the traditional trade relations with areas that now fall into the present day Bangladesh.
Border villages: - For the implementation of schemes under the Border Areas Development Programme (BADP), the state Government has prepared a master list of border villages in 1974 and which was revised in 1982 , 1992 and 2015. Presently there are 1692 villages falling in the border areas, covering an area of 8,860 sq. kms, running laterally from Dona Malidor areas in Jaintia Hills to Mahendraganj in West Garo Hills. For administrative convenience and for the purpose of easy and proper implementation of schemes, the 1692 border villages were divided into 14 border areas / blocks, each under the charge of the Asst. Director / Border Areas Development Officer (BADO).