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The Committee of experts on working of Cantonment Boards, ordered by Government of India, headed by Shri Sumit Bose, IAS (Retired) Ex- Revenue Secretary, Government of India and members from Director General of Defence Estates, Army and Dr Madhumita Roy, Professor, Department of Architecture, Jadavpur University were briefed at Headquarters Southern Command in the presence of Lieutenant General SK Saini, AVSM, YSM, VSM, General Officer Commanding – in- Chief Southern Command. The briefing was also attended by Presidents Cantonment Boards of Dehu Road, Khadki and Pune.

The Committee of experts has been mandated to visit and interact with all stake holders i.e Headquarters Southern Command, Principal Director Defence Estates Office, Presidents Cantonment Boards and elected representatives of Cantonment Boards at Pune, besides visiting other Cantonments.

The briefing at Headquarters Southern Command covered, Terms of References of the study, to include democratisation of the functioning of the Cantonment Boards. The Committee was given an overview of the functioning and challenges of the Cantonments Boards and land management issues. In particular, the concerns of the Army regarding raising of Floor Space Index, lease management, including Old Grant Bungalows, and unauthorised encroachments affecting Cantonment security was briefed to the Committee. The preservation of Heritage buildings and maintenance of green areas, while formulating the byelaws in Cantonment Act was also highlighted. The expert committee was also intimated that the Army is not in favour of change in Cantonment Act and Building Byelaws since the Act has been revised as late as 2006.

The Committee will be visiting the areas of Pune Cantonment and Kirkee Cantonment on 13 November 18, where they will be shown the projects underway, as well as the condition of Areas under the Cantonment Board.

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