JAMMU: Faced with frequent shelling by Pakistani troops, the people residing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Mendhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir today demanded early construction of underground bunkers for their safety.
The border residents of Poonch district raised the demand at a public grievance redressal camp organised by the district administration at Mankote to address the developmental issues of the populace living near the LoC and beyond the fence line, a senior government official said.
District development commissioner (DDC), Poonch, Mohammad Aijaz Asad, who attended the camp, assured the gathering that construction work for the bunkers for LoC pockets of Mankote would be taken up shortly.
In January, the Centre had sanctioned the construction of 14,460 individual and community bunkers at a cost of Rs 415.73 crore for people living along the LoC and International Border in Jammu division.
According to official figures, 7,298 bunkers would be constructed along the LoC in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri, while 7,162 underground bunkers would be constructed along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts.
A large number of people from dozens of villages, including Kasbalari, Salani, Mankote and Sagra, attended the camp and informed the DDC about the difficulties they faced due to frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
They complained about the lack of basic infrastructure like drinking water, electricity and road connectivity, and made various demands to rectify the situation in the area, the official said.
"The participants also raised issues of inclusion of fence side families under Below Poverty Line (BPL) category, receiving station, bank branch and repairing road to Ram Kund Temple at Mankote," he said.
Asad directed the district officers to remain in contact with the people, pay regular visits and organise camps in all the remote areas to resolve public issues and also disseminate awareness about the various government schemes designed for their welfare.
"Small foot bridges would be constructed over rivulets and streams for safe passage of school going children," the spokesman said, adding that construction of playgrounds in each panchayat of the Mankote tehsil would be taken up on priority.