Work on construction of 125 bunkers to begin next week, says J&K admn
In February, J&K home department had sanctioned 125 community bunkers with an aim to build shelters and safeguard human lives along the LoC from the arbitrary cross-border shelling
The work on the construction of 125 community bunkers along the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramulla and Kupwara districts will begin next week, said Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday.
“We will float tenders within a day for Uri and Boniyar. The construction work will hopefully begin within a week,” said Baramulla additional deputy commissioner Mohd Ahsan Mir.
“We are opening some tenders today (Monday) and work will begin from next week,” said Karnah sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Bilal Mohiuddin Bhat.
He said that Tangdhar needs huge bunkers because of good population in the tehsil. “The area is most vulnerable to the cross-border shelling,” he said.
He said that the prototype of bunkers was changed owning to the lack of space. “Now, the construction of one bunker will cost us ₹10 lakh, which otherwise was ₹20 lakh,” he said.
An official from the government wishing anonymity said that the UT administration is facing shortage of land to begin the construction. “People will have to cooperate with us for the same,” he said.
As per the official, a single bunker will accommodate at least four families.
In February, J&K home department had sanctioned 125 community bunkers with an aim to build shelters and safeguard human lives along the LoC from the arbitrary cross-border shelling .
“I am directed to convey the sanction of 125 large community bunkers in Baramulla and Kupwara districts falling within 0-3 kilometres along the LoC,” reads the order forwarded to the Kashmir divisional commissioner.
As per the order, 85 bunkers have been approved for Kupwara district that include 10 for Keran, 15 for Machil and 60 bunkers have been approved for Tangdhar tehsil. There will be 20 bunkers each in Uri and Boniyar tehsil. The government has approved ₹25 crore for the project.
The order also reads that divisional commissioner Kashmir should constitute a committee for physical verification of bunkers and the work should be completed within three months.
However, the residents living near LoC have expressed resentment over the decision of constructing community bunkers. “We have always demanded underground bunkers. New types of bunkers are not going to deliver well. They are not safe,” said Lal Din Khatana, sarpanch of Charunda village on LoC.
“Given the recent border skirmishes, the residents living near the LoC are in state of panic. We fear for our lives,” said Irfan Ahmad, a resident of Baidan village of Boniyar.
Three civilians, including an eight-year-old boy were killed after the cross-border shelling took place in Keran village of Kupwara district last month.
Last week, two soldiers were killed, while six others were injured, including two soldiers, at Charunda village in Hajipeer sector of Uri.
Pakistan has violated the ceasefire around 1,400 times this year alone, while the corresponding figure for 2018 and 2019 was 1,629 and 3,168, respectively.