Over 14,000 community and individual bunkers would be constructed along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) for border residents facing Pakistani shelling in Jammu division, officials said on Sunday.
While 7298 bunkers would be constructed along the LoC in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri, 7162 underground bunkers would be constructed along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts, the officials said.
The government recently sanctioned the construction of 14,460 individual and community bunkers at a cost of Rs 415.73 crore for people living along the LoC and IB.
A total of 13,029 individual bunkers and 1431 community bunkers were being constructed, the officials said, adding that the capacity of the 160 square feet individual bunker was eight people, and that of the 800 square feet community bunker was 40 people.
The officials said 4918 individual and 372 community bunkers would be constructed in Rajouri, and 3076 individual and 243 community bunkers would come up in Kathua district.
A total of 688 community and 1320 individual bunkers would be constructed in Poonch, Jammu would get 1200 individual and 120 community bunkers, and 2515 individual and eight community bunkers would be constructed in Samba district, they said.
India shares a 3,323km long border with Pakistan, of which 221 km of the IB and 740km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.
As many as 35 people —19 Army personnel, 12 civilians and four BSF personnel — were killed in ceasefire violations by Pakistan last year alone.
Senior BJP leader and MP Jugal Kishore Sharma welcomed the move by the centre. “It is indeed a matter of joy and satisfaction for the people of border villages that the centre has sanctioned construction of bunkers and approved relief and compensation for various property and livestock losses due to cross-border firing,” Sharma said.
The MP expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for acceding to the demands of people living in border villages.