“Bunkers to be made by Central agency”

NEW DELHI, JAN 1: The proposed bunkers along the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir, which are being funded by the Union Home Ministry, will now be constructed directly by a Central Agency like CPWD, NBCC (National Building Construction Corporation), etc. This was disclosed here today by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh while briefing the media about some of the important projects to be undertaken in the New Year in Jammu & Kashmir and Northeast. On the occasion, the Minister also released a 2018 wall – calendar prepared by the Ministry of Northeast /DoNER. Dr Jitendra Singh thanked the Home Minister Rajnath Singh for having accepted the request to undertake the construction of bunkers along the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir directly by a Central Agency, in order to avoid further delay and also to ensure efficiency and transparency. The demand for construction of bunkers along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu & Kashmir, Dr Jitendra Singh said, had been consistently made by the BJP even when it was not in power either in the State or at the Centre. He said, the Modi Government promptly considered the demand for construction of community bunkers, but then the local people residing along the borders also made a demand for individual bunkers. Finally, therefore, within the constraints of viability and feasibility, it was decided to have a combination of community bunkers as well as individual bunkers and to begin with, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs formally conveyed to the J&K State Government, the sanction of Rs.415.73 crore for construction of 14,460 bunkers, he added. In the meanwhile, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that the Union Home Ministry has written to the J&K State Government to submit a detailed list containing exact location of large community bunkers as well as a list of individual bunkers as per the conditions and norms laid down for the purpose. He requested the State Government to expedite its response so that the execution of the work could be carried forward at the earliest. As for Northeast, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the region will witness a connectivity boom in 20018. The airport at Pakyong, Sikkim will become functional and the construction will start at Arunachal Pradesh’s first-ever airport in Itanagar. The North-Eastern Council (NEC) has already deposited Rs.54 crore with the Ministry of Civil Aviation as “Viability Fund” to promote the “UDAAN” scheme in the region, he said. At the same time, Dr Jitendra Singh informed that before the Modi Government came in, the States of Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya were never on the rail map of India. But, he said, today, while the Arunachal capital city of Itanagar has already been connected by rail track, the work on establishing a rail connection with Shillong in Meghalaya got unfortunately stalled because of some local protests, but hopefully, if resolved, this would be restarted in the New Year.