Border residents demand long pending payments, urges LG to intervene

Large numbers of safety bunkers are being constructed in different border areas, as part of government schemes. These areas are in close proximity to the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB). Most of them were constructed by the local residents of the border belt of Panchayat Mandhar of district Poonch who are waiting for their spent money on safety bunkers for so long.

Locals alleged, “after waiting for so long and constant demands by the border belt for their safety during Pak shelling, the government of India announced to construct safety bunkers along LoC and IB and to provide help hand to the government. But in this case, mostly we locals had spent their money on these safety bunkers and yet we are not getting our money from the government.”

However, they hailed the government of India for timely release of payments but State administration is not paying heed towards their grievances.

It is pertinent to mention here that, The Central Government had announced to construct Over 14,000 community and individual bunkers along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) for border residents facing Pakistani shelling in Jammu division.

While 7298 bunkers to be constructed along the LoC in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri, 7162 underground bunkers to be constructed along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts, the officials said.

The government recently sanctioned the construction of 14,460 individual and community bunkers at a cost of Rupees 415.73 crore for people living along the LoC and IB.

A total of 13,029 individual bunkers and 1431 community bunkers were being constructed and the capacity of the 160 square feet individual bunker was eight people, and that of the 800 square feet community bunker was 40 people. The officials said 4918 individual and 372 community bunkers would be constructed in Rajouri, and 3076 individual and 243 community bunkers would come up in Kathua district.

A total of 688 community and 1320 individual bunkers would be constructed in Poonch, Jammu would get 1200 individual and 120 community bunkers, and 2515 individual and eight community bunkers would be constructed in Samba district, they said.

Meanwhile, The locals alleged, “Despite repeat approach by them to local’s administration, nothing has been done to release their payments so far. Most of them belong to below poverty line and had taken a loan to construct these bunkers”.

They urged the lieutenant governor to personally look into the matter and to release their payments as soon as earliest.