Near Line Of Control In Jammu, 100 Bunkers Being Built For Civilians

With each bunker accommodating 1,500 people, they are expected to cover the population of the nearby villages.

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The government plans to build 100 bunkers at the Line of Control by the end of November.


Jammu:  At the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, bunkers are being built on a war footing, not for soldiers, but civilians who have been bearing the brunt of the increasing ceasefire violations from Pakistan. The state government says it has made protection of border residents a priority, so they don't have to migrate to safer areas whenever shelling by Pakistani soldiers begin.

"We will do whatever is needed to protect them from firing," said Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh.

The government plans to build 100 bunkers by the end of November, each at a cost of Rs 2.52 lakh. With each bunker accommodating 1,500 people, they are expected to cover the population of the nearby villages.

"The bunkers will be a great help," said Tousi Devi, whose life's savings were destroyed seven months ago when a shell destroyed her house.

Her village Ganai, which lies 140 km from Jammu, has been one of the worst hit by Pakistani shelling. There is hardly a family unaffected - most have lost property and livestock and in some cases, even family members.

With Pakistani positions overlooking the village, its 3,000 residents live in fear. "We can stay inside the bunkers anytime during the night and night. These bunkers are the only shelters for us," said Tousi Devi.

Seven kilometres away lies Jhanghar village, which was pounded by Pakistani shells six months ago. Three people were killed, two of them were from one family.  "God only knows what a difficult day it was for me. It was like a war. I was asked to run, but how could I when I was injured?" said Zaitun Begum, a resident of Jhangar village.

More than the actual shelling, it is the unexploded shells lying on roads and fields that pose a bigger challenge. The army has now launched a drive to clear such unexploded shells and to make the areas habitable again. "All the live bombs have been defused by army engineers from Poonch. We thank them," said Waqar Younis, who also lives in one such border village.


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