Pune: Indian Railways and Postal Department owes Rs 7 crore to Khadki Cantonment Board

Khadki Cantonment Board
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Sumit Singh and Sushant Ranjan

Khadki, August 22, 2020: Even after repeated reminders, the Indian Railways and Postal department has failed to clear its payments for 37 years to the Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB). The two central-ruled agencies have impending service charges of Rs 7 crore as per the KCB records.

KCB covers an area of 3207.3 acres of land which includes 141 acres of civil area. It is responsible for the task of maintenance and improvement of civic amenities in the cantonment area.

According to KCB, Rs 6.3 crores is pending with Central Railway while the Postal department has to pay Rs 85 lakhs. “Both the departments have not paid the service charges since 1983 even after sending repeated reminders. As per railway’s own guidelines and the Supreme Court ruling, it has to pay a service charge amount to the local civic body,” said KCB chief executive officer (CEO) Pramod Kumar Singh.

The Ammunition Factory in Khadki, Army and Pune police have been regularly paying the service charges and their account book is clear, shows the KCB records. Two factories; Ammunition Factory and High Explosive Factory in Khadki Cantonment have their residential quarters for the employees in the Range Hills area on the land classified as A-1 Land in cantonment jurisdiction.

KCB has been rendering usual services like removal and disposal of garbage from the factory land. During 1995-96, a comprehensive agreement was signed which mentioned the conservancy services like street cleaning, drain cleaning and garbage removal/disposal and the allied services, and the Ordnance Factory authorities had agreed to reimburse the entire establishment expenditure.

When contacted, Manoj Jhawar, spokesperson for Pune division of Central Railway, told Punekarnews.in, “We are getting the details from Khadki Cantonment for further action.” Col SFH Rizvi (retd), Postmaster General of Pune region too said, “We are looking into the issue.”

According to KCB CEO, the postal department is already paying the service charges to cantonments including Ranikhet and Bareilly. “We have submitted the details to the Pune postal department. The railways should also pay the charges. If they want to reconcile their land details, they can do so and pay the charges”, the CEO said.

Khadki Cantonment is one of the oldest cantonments in India. On November 5, 1817, the Battle of Khadki was fought between the Marathas and the British on the ground covering the present-day town. The cantonment was established in the year 1817. In 1939, when World War II began, Khadki was called the Home Of Ordnance since both the Khadki Arsenal and the IAOC School were located here. KCB has a varied mix of important units and establishments, like, Bombay Sappers, CAFVD, 512 Army Base Workshop, College of Military Engineering, an Ammunition Factory and a High Explosives Factory. Khadki is a Class I cantonment with a population of 80,000.