With shelling and firing along the LoC and International Border increasing, border dwellers are demanding construction of civilian bunkers for safety of those who are reluctant to shift.
In December last year, the Centre had decided to construct community bunkers along International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) for being used during shelling and firing by Pak. "When there was firing and shelling and we were forced to flee, government had promised to build community bunkers in our hamlets and give us plots of land in safer places.
But when we will see them," asked Disha Devi, a resident of Pallanwala of Akhnoor tehsil. "We have not seen those bunkers. Government should have fast-tracked the process to build the bunkers, which we could use now," she said, while noting that fear psychosis is prevailing along the border hamlets.
For people living along the LoC and the IB, the migration to government-run community centres at safer places has been an annual feature because of heavy Pakistani shelling and firing. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, border dwellers fled to safer areas to escape heavy shelling along IB and LoC in which several people died and scores of people were injured besides casualties suffered by the cattle.
Ramesh Kumar of Gigriyal border hamlet feels that government has been lax in construction of bunkers on war- footing. "The authorities take a lot of time in the constructions and some of those constructed in some areas are very bad and have lost the purpose," he said.
Residents of some areas along the LoC, including Pallanwala, Hamirpur and Sainth, express their reluctance to moving out of their houses leaving behind cattle and properties but are forced to do so because of lack of adequate community bunkers where they could have taken shelter close to their homes.