Troops in India's Border Security Force stand guard along fencing near the India-Pakistan Chachwal border in Jammu and Kashmir state. Photo: AFP

The government of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is set to build 14,460 bunkers along the Line of Control (LoC) and the international Indo-Pakistani border in the frontier state to safeguard civilians from attacks by the Pakistan Army.

The bunkers will be built in places 3 kilometers from the border, reports The Times of India. These are the closest inhabited areas to the LoC, which is the de facto border between the two countries.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in February said at the State Assembly that 41 civilians had been killed in ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the state between 2015 and 2017.

To protect civilians from any further aggression across the border, there will be 13,029 small individual bunkers and 1,431 larger community bunkers. The cost of the project will be around 4.157 billion rupees (US$63.8 million).

The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), a state-run entity, will build the bunkers in the state’s five districts that are close to the border – Samba, Poonch, Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri.

The chairman and managing director of NBCC, A K Mittal, told The Times of India that “pre-cast construction methodology” would be used for the project.

“Strategically located casting yards will be used to fabricate RCC [reinforced cement concrete] components, which shall be transported by trailer or tractors, and the bunkers will be erected by cranes and laborers,” he added.

The Indian Home Ministry sanctioned the bunker project in January, Mufti said according to a report by Press Trust of India. She added that bunkers nearer to existing border outposts would be prioritized.

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