Authorities in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir have completed construction of 102 family-type bunkers along the Line of Control (LoC) for the safety of families in the wake of frequent border shelling.
Each bunker has a capacity to accommodate 10 persons for long-term and 12 to 16 persons for short-term. Thus about 1,200 persons can take shelter during the emergency situation, District Development Commissioner, Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said.
He said the bunkers have been completed in various villages along the LoC.
"The technical design of the bunker withstands the kind of weaponry frequently used by Pakistan in ceasefire violations," Choudhary said.
The LoC runs through 120-kilometer long stretch in the district across 72 villages in six tehsils. Nearly 22 villages are easy targets of shelling.
He said the bunkers were started last year with an innovative model of convergence with MGNREGA and community participation.
"The project cost for one unit was pegged at Rs 2.40 lakh out of which Rs 90,000 was dovetailed from MGNREGA while Rs 1.50 lakh was provided under Capex budget," he said.
Choudhary said the bunkers have been constructed in several villages of Nowsher sub-division which include Jhangar, Kalsian, Danaka, Sarya, Laroka, Sair, Makdi, Namb and Kadali.
"The project has been executed through the engineering wing of the Rural Development Department with Block Development Officer Surinder Singh as Nodal Officer," he said.
Chief Secretary B B Vyas frequently reviewed the progress and extended prompt financial support to the project after his visit to Nowshera later last year, Choudhary said.
He said the district administration have further endeavoured to construct bunkers in Manjakote, Panjgrain and Doongi where recently ceasefire violations were reported.
More than 4,500 people migrated to relief camps, established by the authorities in Nowshera town, in May 2017 due to heavy shelling, which killed eight civilians and damaged over 170 houses.
In view of the success of the pilot project, Choudhary said more such bunkers to be constructed as per sanction of Unon Ministry of Home Affairs would provide greater safety for the border inhabitants.
"This will include more than 5,000 family-type bunkers and 370 community bunkers," he said.
The Centre has given the green signal for the construction of 14,460 bunkers at a cost of Rs 415.73 crore to save civilians along the LoC and International Border in the state, he added.