Jammu, May 27: Authorities in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir have initiated the process of constructing over 5,500 underground bunkers and 200 community halls as well as ‘border bhawans’ to help border dwellers facing the brunt of Pakistani shelling and firing. Also Read - Leader of Pakistan Called For Action Against Those Who Incite Hate, Was he Referring to Himself? India at UNGA

The prestigious project, targeted to be completed in the current financial year at a cost of Rs 153.60 crore, has already been approved by the state government and union ministry of home affairs (MHA), an official spokesman said today. He said District Development Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary chaired a meeting and reviewed arrangements for initiating construction of family bunkers, community bunkers, community halls and border bhawans to facilitate the safety of border residents during ceasefire violations. Also Read - Indian Delegate Walks Out of UNGA in Protest After Pakistan PM Imran Khan Raises Kashmir Issue

A total of 5,196 bunkers are being constructed in seven blocks along the 120 km long stretch of LoC. These include Sunderbani, Qila Drahal, Nowshera, Doongi, Rajouri, Panjgrain, and Manajakote, the spokesman said. He said over 260 community bunkers and 160 community halls would also be constructed in villages located in 0-3 KM distance from LoC for the accommodation of people during ceasefire violation prompted migration or 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, the spokesman said. (ALSO READ: Pak Rangers Pleaded to Stop Firing Across International Border: BSF) Also Read - DNA Samples of 3 Men Killed in Shopian Encounter Match With Families From Rajouri: J&K Police

He said the tendering process designed for the construction of bunkers as block-level projects as per MHA guidelines would start within one week and the process will be completed within one month which will be followed by construction of bunkers, shelters and community halls.

Every family residing in 0-3 KM range from LoC would 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, police posts, government buildings and panchayat ghars for safe accommodation and better utilisation during peacetime, the spokesman said. (ALSO READ: J&K: BSF Troops Destroy Pakistani Bunkers Along International Border; Release Video)

He said ‘tehsildars’ (revenue officials) have been directed to hand over land to executing agencies indicating area and Khasra number as well as an entry in revenue records while tenders would be put in the public domain within one week. Joint teams of Revenue, Rural Development Department, Police and Public Works Department would conduct an inspection, physical verification and monitoring with active cooperation from border guarding forces, he said. The spokesman said all assets will be geo-tagged and monitored online at district and state level. In December last year, the Centre announced the construction of 14,460 individual and community bunkers at a cost of Rs 415.73 crore for people living along the LoC and IB in Jammu region as a step to ensure their safety in the wake of frequent cross-border shelling.