The administration is yet to make any damage assessment or release grants.

 

Residents of the border villages in Jammu are upset with the indifference shown to them by the administrative officials, who are yet to take stock of the damages done to residential houses by Pakistani shelling. Villagers who have returned to their native places told The Sunday Guardian that they were awaiting government help to rebuild their houses.

“We are not getting any government support. On returning here we saw that our houses have been badly damaged. We are living with our neighbours. Masons from other regions are not ready to come here; they fear for their lives,” said Mulla Ram, who belong to the Arnia sector of Jammu. In the recent past, hundreds of houses were damaged by heavy shelling done by the Pakistani forces in Arnia sector of Jammu, and it resulted in the migration of thousands of families out of the border hamlets. After the recent DGMO talks by India and Pakistan, most of the villagers have started returning to their places, but they are facing problems in rebuilding their houses. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Jammu, Arun Manhas told the media that the officials have so far not been able to visit the villages in Arnia sector, which witnessed the maximum damage in Pakistani shelling. But he told this reporter, “We will soon complete the process of assessment of damages and will submit the report to the government.”

The officials, who have been going to forward villages for damage assessment, told the media that about 150 houses have suffered extensive damage due to shelling in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts. These officials said that around 120,000 people have been displaced and most of them are returning after the ceasefire announcement.

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