8,500 underground bunkers constructed at Jammu border

8,500 underground bunkers constructed along Jammu border

All these bunkers fall between zero to three kilometres from the IB and the LoC

Representative Image. Credit: PTI File Photo

Despite recent calm along the border, authorities have completed work on about 8,500 underground bunkers constructed for the safety of the people living along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu province.

The Centre has sanctioned the construction of 14,460 individual and community bunkers for the border residents in Jammu, Kathua, and Samba districts covering the villages located along the IB and Poonch and Rajouri villages on the LoC.

Sources said that out of 9905 bunkers in phase-I, work on 8444 individual and 1461 community bunkers was taken up for execution by utilizing the funds sanctioned by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Nearly 8500 bunkers have been completed to date and the remaining bunkers are at different stages of construction, they said and the Jammu and Kashmir government will approach the Center shortly for sanction of 15000 more community and individual bunkers in Phase-II.

All these bunkers fall between zero to three kilometres from the IB and the LoC and they can be put to use by the border dwellers in case of shelling and firing from the Pakistan side anytime, officials said. The keys of these bunkers have been given to the heads of the respective villages by the civil administration.

An individual bunker is meant for the households and can accommodate eight to 10 people while community bunkers can accommodate 20-30 people. The technical design of the bunker withstands the kind of weaponry frequently used in ceasefire violations.

Underground bunkers become second homes for the border residents during ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the IB and the LoC. Such bunkers have been instrumental in saving several innocent lives during periods of heavy ceasefire violations from across the border.

Though there has been no major ceasefire violation over the past 10-months in Jammu and Kashmir after India and Pakistan signed a fresh agreement to maintain calm along the borders on February 25 this year, in the last few years, dozens of border residents have died in relentless shelling and firing by Pakistan along the border.

After witnessing over 5100 incidents of ceasefire violations in 2020, the violations and killings at the border in Jammu and Kashmir this year was an all-time low in the last more than a decade. Last year, at least 36 civilians were killed and over 130 injured on the Indian side of the LoC and the IB due to ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

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.

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