Faced with repeated incidents of Pakistan shelling in civilian areas of Jammu and Kashmir, the district administration of Rajouri has initiated the process of construction of more than 5,500 bunkers in the area where people can take shelter during cross-border shelling.

Besides, 200 community halls and border bhawans are also being constructed for which the proposal has already been approved by the state government and Ministry of Home Affairs. The project will cost Rs 154 crore.

According to the district development commissioner, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, the plan is to complete the projects in this financial year.

A total of 5,196 bunkers are being constructed in 7 blocks along the 120-km-long stretch of LoC in the district.

These include Sunderbani, Qila Drahal, Nowshera, Doongi, Rajouri, Panjgrain and Manajakote sectors that witness widespread loss of life and property during the shelling by Pakistani troops.

Meanwhile, more than 260 community bunkers and 160 community halls will also be constructed in villages within 3 km from the LoC for accommodating people during ceasefire violation prompted migration and emergency evacuation.

The border bhawans to accommodate more than 10,000 people will be constructed in safer areas of Sunderbani, Nowshera, Doongi, Rajouri and Manjakote.

Choudhary said that every family residing within 3 km from the LoC will be provided an individual family bunker during Phase-I of the project while community bunkers and halls will be strictly constructed near schools, hospitals, police stations, government buildings, panchayats ghars, CFCs etc for safe accommodation of better utilisation during peace time.

Concerned tehsildars have been directed to hand over the land to executing agencies indicating area and entry in revenue records while tenders will be put in public domain within a week. The tendering process designed for construction of bunkers as block-level projects as per Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines will start within a week and process will be completed within a month, followed by construction work.

 Joint teams of the Revenue, Rural Development, Police and Public Works  departments will conduct inspections, physical verification and monitoring with active cooperation from forces guarding the border. All the assets will be geo-tagged and monitored online at district and state level.