New Delhi: The MHA has approved Rs 415 crores for the construction of more than 14,000 bunkers in Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts in J&K. Work on construction of 1,431 community and more than 13,000 individual bunkers will commence from July 2018. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed its progress at a high-level meeting on Monday.
In view of 1,252 ceasefire violations by Pakistan during the current year, the Home Ministry has called for expediting the construction of bunkers along the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) to protect the border residents. Compensation to victims of cross-border firing has been approved at NDRF rates and the limit of three milch animals has been removed for losses incurred upon livestock. MHA has directed that compensation for livestock should be increased to Rs 50,000 from Rs 30,000 presently.
During the meeting, Singh directed to the expedition of raising of two New Border Battalions of J&K Police. He said that the recruitment should be completed by March 2019. MHA had approved Rs 105 crores in March 2018. These two battalions will be raised from people living within 0-10 kms of IB/LoC. Besides, 5 India Reserve Battalions (IRB) are also being raised. 4,690 youth have been recruited for this, who will start joining from next month. Also, 6,689 SPOs have been appointed out of a total of 10,000 new posts sanctioned. The possibility of filling up of the vacancies of SPOs from border community may be explored.
Reviewing the Prime Minister’s Development Package worth Rs 80,068 crores, the government has sanctioned 63,000 crores for 63 projects pertaining to 15 Central ministries. Out of which more than Rs 24,000 crores have been released and over Rs 20,000 crores have been utilised. 13 projects have been completed/substantially completed.
As per an MHA report 1,079 youth were selected during a special recruitment drive for CAPFs and Assam Rifles in 2016-17 while 7,302 youth were inducted into the Army during the period 2014-2017. MHA has taken stock of the progress of relief and rehabilitation programmes related to various sections of migrants and displaced persons. Singh has directed that special camps should be held and there should be publicity in regional newspapers for disbursing assistance of Rs 5.5 lakh per family to displaced people of PoK and Chhamb, for which MHA has provided Rs 2,000 crores.
Meanwhile, the ministry expressed satisfaction that there has been a significant drop in stone-pelting incidents after the Centre announced the suspension of operations during Ramzan.
Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba were present during Monday's review meeting.
(Reporting by Manish Shukla)