102 Bunkers Completed in Villages along LoC

RAJOURI APRIL 08: District Administration, Rajouri has completed a pilot project for construction of 100 family-type bunkers along the Line of Control with Pakistan for the safety of people in the wake of frequent ceasefire violations.

More than 4500 people migrated to relief camps established by authorities in Nowshera town in May 2017 due to heavy shelling and widespread damages due to ceasefire violation which left more than 170 houses damaged and 8 civilians killed. The district administration started a pilot project to construct 100 family-type bunkers for the safety of civilians in September 2017. Community type bunkers were later started near schools and police posts.

These bunkers were started with an innovative model of convergence with MGNREGA and community participation in the execution of projects. 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. The Chief Secretary J&K frequently reviewed the progress and extended prompt financial support to the project after his visit to Nowshera later last year.

Deputy Commissioner, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary informed that a total of 102 family type bunkers have been completed in various villages along the Line of Control. It was a mammoth task completed in a very short span of time with the active cooperation of the public. The project was designed as community driven for asset-ownership. Every family contributed its share in addition to the project cost. The bunkers have also been provided one toilet unit under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Each bunker has a capacity to accommodate 10 people for long-term while 12-16 persons for short-term shelter in wake of ceasefire violation. The project will help to accommodate more than 1000-1200 persons during the emergent situation. The technical design of the bunker withstands the kind of weaponry frequently used in such ceasefire violations. The LoC runs through 120KM long stretch in the district across 72 villages in 6 Tehsils while nearly 22 villages are worst hit. Authorities in the district administration have further endeavoured to construct bunkers in Manjakote, Panjgrain, Doongi where recently ceasefire violations were reported.

These 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 Rural Development Department with BDO Surinder Singh as Nodal Officer. A widespread outreach programme was conducted last year for effective community participation which showed a successful result in planning and implementation of the project.

In view of the success of the pilot project more such bunkers to be constructed as per sanction of MHA will provide greater safety for the border inhabitants. This will include more than 5000 family-type bunkers and 370 community bunkers. The people of border villages celebrated the completion of project meanwhile based on such demand from Manjakote and Doongi the second phase of project is being started for covering all families.

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