Khadki, 20th January 2024: The Army Station Headquarters in Khadki has taken a significant step by forming a board of officers to kickstart the process of acquiring old grant bungalows within the Khadki Cantonment Board’s (KCB) limits.
Functioning as the local military authority (LMA) of Khadki, the Station Headquarters is actively engaging with the Defence Estates Office (DEO), Pune Circle, to acquire these bungalows situated on prime defence land.
The old grant bungalows, managed by the DEO, Pune Circle, span across acres of valuable land, with a current market value running into crores of rupees. Recent actions by the DEO and the Director of Defence Estates at the Principal Directorate Defence Estates of Southern Command involved the sealing of three bungalows in the Pune Camp, located on Napier and Stavely roads, within the past two weeks.
A panel comprising officials from the Directorate General of Defence Estates (DGDE), New Delhi, and the KCB emphasized the necessity of having ample A-1 defence land under the LMA’s management for the expansion of defence establishments within the Khadki cantonment limit. The appointed panel has initiated the process of reclaiming vacant old grant bungalows that have remained unoccupied for an extended period.
The urgency to secure these properties stems from the potential threat of encroachment and illegal constructions, similar to incidents witnessed in the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) limits. Authorities underscored that reclaiming these bungalow properties is crucial to prevent unauthorized dealings and ensure the orderly development of the cantonment area.
Officials noted the presence of a lobby comprising builders and politicians, operating through various agents, actively pursuing land and old grant bungalow deals with the holders of rights. This lobby reportedly offers significant amounts to property holders to facilitate the mutation of properties in their names. Some old grant bungalows are currently under the scrutiny of the LMA and DEO.
The KCB possesses 60 old grant bungalows strategically located in the heart of the cantonment, with some occupying substantial land areas. Notably, a senior defence official involved in the process cited an example of an old grant bungalow on Duncan Road, spread over six acres of defence land, which is considered prime property. The board of officers is actively working on its resumption, deeming it suitable for future expansion.
A senior official from DGDE clarified that the resumption of old grant bungalows is a routine exercise undertaken by the LMA to convert B-3 land plots, managed by the DEO, to A-1 for expansion projects. The official explained that if a specific old grant bungalow is deemed suitable, the procedure is initiated by paying the property’s price to the holder of rights, facilitating the resumption or acquisition of the property.