JAMMU, May 28: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today reviewed situation along the borders and hinterland in Jammu and Kashmir at a high-level meeting with top Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) officials and announced that the MHA has approved Rs 415 crore for construction of more than 14,000 bunkers for border dwellers in five districts of Jammu region.
Official sources told the Excelsior that more than 28,400 bunkers will be constructed in Jammu and Kashmir for the safety of residents living along the Indo-Pak border who often face shelling from the Pakistani side.
The Home Ministry has approved Rs 415 crore for construction of more than 14,000 bunkers in Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts, an official statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs said. While Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts fall on the International Border (IB), Rajouri and Poonch districts share Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan.
Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba besides top brass of the MHA attended the security review meeting chaired by Rajnath Singh.
Work on construction of 1,431 community and more than 13,000 individual bunkers will be commenced from July, the statement said.
The Ministry’s decision came in view of 1,252 ceasefire violations by Pakistan since January this year.
In the latest ceasefire violations in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts, 12 persons including two jawans of the Border Security Force (BSF) and 10 civilians were killed while there was huge loss of cattle and property of the border dwellers.
The meeting expressed satisfaction that there has been a significant drop in stone-pelting incidents in Kashmir since the Central Government had announced suspension of operations during the month of Ramzan.
The recruitment for the already sanctioned two new battalions of the Jammu and Kashmir Police is expected to be completed by March, 2019, and the Home Ministry had sanctioned Rs 105 crore in March for this purpose.
These two battalions would be raised from the people living within 0-10 km of International Border or the Line of Control.
Besides, five India Reserve Battalions (IRB) are also being raised in Jammu and Kashmir where altogether 4,690 youths have been recruited and they will join the force next month, the statement said.
In addition, 6,689 SPOs have been appointed out of a total of 10,000 new posts sanctioned. The possibility of filling up of the vacancies of SPOs from border living community may be explored.
The meeting was informed about the progress of relief and rehabilitation programmes related to various sections of migrants and displaced persons. A total of 12,763 beneficiaries of displaced persons of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir have been disbursed Rs 578 crore, the statement said,
Rs 5.5 lakh per family will be disbursed to displaced people of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Chhamb for which the Home Ministry has provided Rs 2,000 crore, it said.