14,500 safety bunkers coming up in J&K border areas

Jammu, June 8: Nearly 14,500 safety bunkers will be constructed in Jammu and Kashmir border areas for people to take shelter in the event of Pakistani shelling of civilian areas on this side, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday, capping his two-day trip to the state. The Home Minister said the government would raise seven more India Reserve Battalions of special armed police in the state. He announced increase in financial compensation to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh for persons killed during cross-border firing on the International Boundary and the Line of Control. The amount will be directly credited to the account of next of kin. This removes the condition of a fixed deposit account to receive the financial assistance.

The minister said the government has also decided to increase to Rs 50,000 from Rs 30,000 the compensation for each animal killed during the border firing. The Home Minister said the government was concerned over the safety of people living in border areas as Pakistani forces continue unprovoked firing and shelling to target Indian areas. To ensure their safety, 13,029 bunkers each with a capacity to shelter 8-10 people and 1,431 community bunkers each with a capacity to house 40-50 people would be constructed in the areas near the borders. For this, he said, Rs 450 crore was sanctioned. The minister said five bullet-proof ambulances would also be stationed permanently on the border areas to tackle emergency situations. (IANS)