POONCH: With peace prevailing along the India-Pakistan border, a team of government officials visited several villages in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district to explore tourism opportunities, an official said on Wednesday.
According to an official spokesperson, Poonch Deputy Commissioner Yasin M Choudhary visited Serian, Degwar, Maldyana, Nakarkote, Langoor Post, Noorkote, and Khari Karmara villages that lie across the border fence but within the Line of Control (LoC).
Choudhary was accompanied by Senior Superintendent of Police Vinay Kumar and other officials during his visit, the spokesperson said.
He said the purpose of the visit was to interact with the public, assess the availability of basic amenities, and explore tourism opportunities in the heavily guarded region.
On February 25, 2021, India and Pakistan announced implementation of a renewed ceasefire along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir, which came as a major relief to the people living along the LoC and the International Border (IB).
India and Pakistan had initially signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003, but Pakistan has frequently violated the agreement with over 5,000 violations reported in 2020 the highest in a single year.
To protect the border residents from Pakistani shelling, the Centre had, in December 2017, sanctioned the construction of 14,460 individual and community bunkers in five districts of Jammu, Kathua and Samba. These bunkers covered the villages located along the IB and villages in Poonch and Rajouri along the LoC. Later, the government sanctioned over 4,000 more bunkers for the vulnerable population.
The deputy commissioner of Poonch, along with his team, also paid a visit to the Ajote War Memorial and expressed his desire to keep it open for the public.
Recognising the significance of the memorial and the sacrifices made by the soldiers, he urged the Chief Executive Officer, Poonch Development Authority, Mohammad Tanveer Khan to promote tourism in the area and ensure that the public becomes aware of the stories of these brave soldiers.
The deputy commissioner also announced a plan to install the national flag at the memorial in a few says, the spokesman said.
The deputy commissioner listened to the grievances of the people and reaffirmed his commitment to address them on priority, the spokesman added.
He also conducted a thorough inspection of the underground bunkers constructed in the area for the safety and security of the residents, the official said.(Agencies)