14,460 bunkers to come up for border residents in J&K

14,460 bunkers to come up for border residents in J&K

14,460 bunkers to come up for border residents in J&K

Amid a rising number of causalities in border areas, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday said the Centre has sanctioned construction of 14,460 bunkers to provide safe accommodation to border residents facing the brunt of intermittent firing and shelling by Pakistan.

"The Centre has sanctioned construction of 14,460 bunkers involving Rs 415.73 crore in border districts of Jammu division, while 37 bunkers have already been constructed under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) in the border blocks," Minister for Revenue Abdul Rehman Veeri said in the J&K Upper House, while replying to questions raised by various legislators over the issue.

He also said that the government has released Rs 1.50 crore under Capex Budget 2017-18 for construction of 100 individual bunkers in convergence mode on a pilot basis at Nowshera, Rajouri.

"The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, has also submitted a proposal for construction of 1,499 community type bunkers costing Rs 142.40 crore and 19,749 individual type bunkers costing Rs 503.41 crore in three border districts of Kashmir Division. The proposal stands submitted to the Union home ministry," Veeri added.

The Centre has already directed the state government that priority should be given to bunkers which are nearest to the Border Observation Posts (BOPs).

It has also asked the state government to specify the building norms for all areas up to 5 km from the border. The construction of bunkers was approved by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his four-day visit to the state between September 9 and 12 last year.

Thirteen people, including seven civilians and six security personnel, have been killed while more than 100 others injured over the last one week along the International Border and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region due to Pakistani shelling and firing.

India shares a 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan, of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.