Jammu, Dec 29: In 2018, when the then Home Minister of India, Rajnath Singh visited Nowshera area of Rajouri district, he termed the civil population of Line of Control villagers as the ‘strategic defense’ of the country underlining their contribution as golden.
On the same day, then Deputy Commissioner Rajouri Dr. Shahid Iqbal proposed a project for construction of safety bunkers in LoC villages to save lives of people in cross LoC shelling and three days after his visit, the then Home Minister announced sanction of a pilot project for construction of safety bunkers of two categories including individual bunkers and community bunkers.
Thereafter, work for construction of bunkers in LoC villages was started through the Rural Development Department and tendering was flashed but after a span of three months, work was redistributed among the Public Works Department also keeping in view the slow pace of works.
Now, two and a half years have passed but the project is yet to be completed with people in a number of areas of LoC complaining of slow pace of work.
“A number of bunkers which stand completed are of unsatisfactory nature with the main problem in these is water leakage,” a group of villages told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).
Sarpanch of village Deeing, Romesh Choudhary also demanded an audit of project to find out loopholes besides he also demanded expedition of work and completion of project at the earliest.
On the other hand, despite repeated assurances of authorities concerned, the problem of absence of mobile telecommunication is still prevailing in the LoC villages.
“Mobile telecommunication signals are received at a few places in our villages and government has failed to provide any alternative mean of communication to us.” LoC residents of Rajouri and Poonch districts said.
They termed absence of mobile telecommunication as a main factor affecting their lives badly.
Alongside, the LoC residents also termed 2020 a year wherein no major step was taken to step-p healthcare services in the areas.
In almost all the LoC areas of Rajouri and Poonch, where cross LoC shelling takes place, there is no proper arrangements for immediate evacuation of victims with only PHCs are located in these areas that too devoid of required healthcare services except first aid services.
” The main demand of our areas is provision of bullet proof ambulances which however is yet to be fulfilled,” said Javed Iqbal a resident of Balakote LoC area in Poonch—(KNO)