PCB VP puts end to rumour of abolishing cantonment boards

ST CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, 19 July 2018

Shrigiri even said that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, in her tweet on July 14, 2018, clarified that there is no such proposal under the consideration of the Ministry of Defence.

PUNE: Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) Vice President Priyanka Shrigiri has put a full stop to the rumour regarding the abolition of all 62 cantonment boards. Earlier, Member of Parliament (MP) of Cantonment Anil Shirole had written to the Defence Ministry mentioning that the Cantonment Board should be shifted outside the city limits so that the problems will be resolved.

Shrigiri even said that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, in her tweet on July 14, 2018, clarified that there is no such proposal under the consideration of the Ministry of Defence.

Shirole said, “I cannot comment if the abolition of the cantonment is a rumour or not. There is a meeting scheduled on July 23 with the Defence Minister over this topic. In May, after a meeting with the minister over the problems faced by a resident of the Cantonment, I had written to the minister mentioning a point that the problems of the cantonment will be resolved if it is relocated outside the city limits. Because the cantonment was earlier located outside the city limits only, now because of expansion of the city, it has come in the middle of the city.”

Shrigiri had invited media representative to talk about the same in which Kiran Mantri and Atul Gaikwad were also present. 

Shrigiri said, “This news is not a proper news because there is no proper discussion over it and we do not know if any of these discussions have ever happened. Also, every cantonment has its own views over this decision.”

“Talking about Pune Cantonment, if this so called rumour turns true, then the civilians will be facing several problems. Because PCB has its own laws and regulations and they have elected ward members for it, which keeps an eye on the problems of the civilians. If the cantonment is abolished and merged into municipal limits, then the civilians problems will be ignored. Also, if the three cantonments including Pune, Dehu Road and Khadki are converted into military stations, then the strict rules and regulations of the military will be a burden for the civilians and the open spaces will be turned into buildings and malls.”

Mantri said, “The discussion about abolishing the Cantonment and merging it in the civic body is being talked about since a long time. However, PCB has the office of the Southern Command and there is only a small civil area. And being one of the biggest offices of Southern 

Command situated in PCB area, the decision will not be welcomed here soon. Even we are not aware of these talks. So it will take time.” 

‘WAIT AND WATCH’
When asked about the messages that civil land in cantonments will be merged with local civic bodies, Southern Army Commander Lt Gen DR Soni said, “These decisions are well thought out and taken at very high level. We have to see how it works. But in all places like Pune, the cantonments are looked after by us and they are the green lungs of the city because construction of multi-storied buildings is not allowed in cantonment areas. So when we speak of any development, it won’t be abrupt. There will be proper debate and it will be a cabinet decision. And people who are very capable of taking the decision will take it. If I have a military station, I will make it work for sewage treatment plant (STP), for water, buildings, grounds, green areas, the safety of people and students; whether it is with the cantonment board or without. So those who are taking the decision would go through the nuances of it, and pros and cons. A proper analysis will be at the decision making level. You will have to wait and watch.”  He was speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the inauguration of Army Law College at Kanhe, about 45 km from Pune.

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