Manohar Parrikar inaugurates new office of Defence Estates in Pune

Share this News:

Pune: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday inaugurated new office building of Principal Directorate, Defence Estates, at Kondhwa Road, near Command Hospital, Pune.

Lt Gen Bipin Rawat,GOC-in-C Southern Command, R P Singh, IDES  Director General, Defence Estates (DE), Anil Shirole, MP Pune alongwith various dignitaries and high ranking officials were present on the occasion.
DE Organisation deals with all issues pertaining to Defence land including its acquisition,protection and management and it also looks after the administration of Cantonment Boards, which are deemed Municipalities as per the provisions of the Cantonments Act, 2006. Total defence land under this Dte. is about 9.00 lakh acres which is almost half of entire defence land in the Country.

The building has been raised after Ministry of Defence sanctioned funds for the purpose in the year 2013 & 2016. Foundation Stone of the Building was laid on 15/11/2013 & the construction of the building has been done by the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) as a Deposit Work.

The Principal Directorate, has so far been housed at 1 st Floor of a building of the Local Military Authorities (LMA) in front of HQrs. Southern Command at Manekji Mehta Road and it has been functioning from this Building since about 1972 and accommodation there is very inadequate and considering the necessity of providing a good working atmosphere, this project was taken up.
Available records show that the Head of this detachment (Dte) in 1947 was known as Deputy Director, Military Lands & Cantonments & as Director, Defence Lands & Cantonments from about 1977 .
From about 1998 onwards the Dte is headed by a Principal Director, DE who is in the rank and pay of an Additional Secretary to the Govt.of India. This Dte. is one of the 06 (six) such Dtes of DE Organisation which is headed by the Director General, Defence Estates, who is in the rank and pay of a Secretary to the Govt.of India. The( six) 06 Dtes. are co-located with 06 (six) main Army Commands.
Jurisdiction of this Dte. at Pune is spread across 11 States and 05 Union Territories (States –Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra. Karnataka, Goa,Kerala, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh and Union Territories – Daman &, Dadra & Nagar Haveli,

Puduchery, Lakshweep & Andaman & Nicobar Islands). There are 19 (Nineten) Cantonment Boards and 11 DEO Circles situated across these States and office of the ADEO Port Blair is located at Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

The DEOs maintain all records of defence land and they are the

representatives of Govt.of India, Min.of Defence as regards management of defence land and they provide required assistance to Defence Forces, Cantt.Boards, DRDO & Ordnance Factories etc in these matters.

The Principal Director, DE is the advisor to the GOC-in- C Southern Command on matters of Cantonment Board Administration. The Directorate is the nodal organization for all matters of defence land management in respect of Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard etc. situated in these 11 States and 05 UTs.
This Dte. gives advice and guides the DEOs & Cantonment Boards on all issues pertaining to  land management and Cantonment Board administration. In the recent years, the DEOs & CEOs have been entrusted with the responsibility of survey of all defence lands which they have undertaken and so far physical survey of about 98 % of Defence land is completed by them and a number of reports have already been finalized and submitted. Such a survey work has been undertaken for the first time after a long gap and thus considerable efforts had to be made in this regard since involvement of all stake holders including the Defence Forces, State Revenue Deptt. etc. had to be ensured. A number of issues have been brought up by the DEOs during survey of defence land which will be resolved in subsequent phases. As a measure of disaster management, the Organisation has also taken up digitization of all records. Initially defence land records which could be found in the Military Land Registers (MLRs) ( for the lands situated outside Cantt.) and the General Land Registers (GLRs) ( for the land situated inside Cantonments) have been computerized under a Project named “ RAKSHA BHOOMI” and with the digital signature of the DEOs & CEOs , copies of the land records can be easily made available now. The Department also has taken up a Project for preservation of land records in the form of bringing up Archival Unit & Research Centre (AUR&C). One such Centre already came up in Delhi & the other is coming up at Khadki Cantt. Such preservation of records will go a long way in ensuring timely retrieval & giving information about the defence land whenever required and also on various issues which may have been dealt in the past. This will also be very useful in the coming years for the research students interested to know various aspects of management of Defence land.
The Cantonments as Municipal Bodies have been rendering yeomen service in various fields. These Boards have been able to maintain a very high standard of sanitation in the Cantonments. The Boards have also taken up a lot of steps in maintaining the Cantonments as GREEN ISLANDS and one can always feel the difference between the nearby Municipal areas and the Cantonment due to the greenery. Defence Forces stationed inside Cantonments have always been contributing in a major way in keeping the Cantonments green. Out of 19 Cantonment Boards, 15 Cantonment Boards maintain schools wherein 25,000 children are studying and impart a reasonably good standard of education in these schools and 03 Cantonment Boards have Junior Colleges too. These schools also provide various facilities for overall development of personality of the children especially in the fields of sports, art & culture and it is a matter of pride to mention that the Ahmednagar Cantonment Board School Children displayed their paintings in India International Centre at Delhi in May, 2016.
Cantonment Boards have also opened schools for differently-abled children of various groups for imparting required training with experts. The Boards are also running hospitals & dispensaries and some of the Cantonment Boards viz. Khadki  and Pune are having specialized facilities in their Hospitals. Pune Cantonment Board has got a well-established Mother &  Child Care Centre & established a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and full advantage of the same is being taken by the residents of Cantonment and nearby areas and similarly at Khadki Cantonment Board has opened a “Dialysis Centre”. All these have come up with the generous contributions from the   MPs & MLAs of the area. Secunderabad Cantonment Board has opened a Hospital with modern facilities recently.
Under the guidance of PD DE, Cantonment .Boards also started initiating the process for on- line payment of various taxes/dues and Secunderabad Cantonment Board successfully implemented the same and Belgaum Cantonment Board followed the suit. Others are also trying to implement the same. The Boards also have taken up various steps in the field of non-conventional energy &  Secunderabad Canttonment Board has already set up solar panels on their buildings including water supply reservoirs.
Under Swacch Bharat Campaign, Cantonment. Boards have undertaken a number of steps including laying of sewer lines and constructing Sewerage Treatment Plants and Pune &  Deolali Cantonments will implement the same in a short-while.
Three Cantonment Boards, such as Pune, Secunderabad, Deolali have been selected to be developed as Smart Cantonments by Ministry of Defence in the first phase and these Cantonment Boards are accordingly taking up a number of activities and other Cantonment Boards are also preparing a number of plans in similar lines to provide a better quality of life to the citizens.
Cantonment Boatrds are now surrounded by nearby Cities and Towns and still due to various reasons & mainly on security grounds, other reasons, the land-use plan inside Cantonment cannot be made as liberal as in the case of nearby municipal areas. In this regard the norms prepared by the Ministry of Defence all over the Country are being followed.
The aspirations of people living inside Cantt have increased and they want better & better services to be delivered by the Cantonment Boards. However, due to limited scope for raising

revenue locally the Cantonment Boards have faced financial problems in undertaking developmental activities. The Central Government, Ministry of Defence sanction funds to the Cantonment Boards in the form of grant-in- aid to bridge the gap between the income and expenditure. As the Cantonment Boards follow the pay-structure of the respective State Govts in which Cantonment  Boards are situated , major liability of these Boards is in the form of pay & allowances & pension

and with the implementation of successive Pay Commission recommendations, this liability has increased manifold. This position will further tighten once Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations are to be implemented by various Cantonment Boards. Except in the State of Telangana other State Govts have not been giving financial assistance to the Cantonment Boards, as they do to the Municipalities, even though the residents of Cantonment Boards pay all the taxes &  dues etc. as levied by the State Govt.

Principal Dte has been raising the demand from time to time with the State Govts for giving grants to the Cantonment Boards, considering the responsibility discharged by the Cantt.Board as Municipal Bodies, but no positive result has been achieved yet. The Boards definitely need to be supported

financially, if the standard of existing services have to be increased and at the same time the Boards have to bring out developments in the Cantonments for the civil population.

This Dte. has to make liaison at State Government level for various issues to be dealt by the Defence Estates Officers &  Cantonment Boards. For instance for mutation of Defence land in Civil Revenue Records, exchange of Defence land with that of State Government for various infrastructure projects etc. regular liaison is done with State Governments. Similarly,sanction of funds by the Cantonment Boards for inclusion of Cantonments in the overall development of Cities , this Dte. makes efforts with the concerned State Government Authorities.
The various Offices of Defence Estates Organisation need to be housed properly so that there is satisfactory working atmosphere. Moreover, there is also need for residential accommodation for Officers and Staff of the Organisation. Efforts are being made to bring up offices and residential complexes of the Defence Estates Officers at various locations, for instance, construction of the new office complex of DEO Jodhpur and DEO Chennai are at advanced stage.