MoD proposes excision of 58 cantonment boards, including SCB

The proposal to merge the SCB with the GHMC has been a long-standing demand

Updated - August 08, 2023 04:28 pm IST

Published - July 24, 2023 07:27 pm IST - HYDERABAD

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has proposed to excise civil areas in 58 cantonments, with plans to merge them with State municipalities. Among these cantonments is the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB), which has long been in the spotlight for its impending merger with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).

The announcement came from the Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence, Ajay Bhatt, who made the statement during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The proposal to merge the SCB with the GHMC has been a long-standing demand. In a tweet dated January 5, 2023, Muncipal Administration Minister K.T. Rama Rao said, “We have been demanding the merger of Secunderabad Cantonment Board into GHMC for a long time. This will help the Telangana government in taking forward SRDP and other infra projects expeditiously. It is the union government’s adamant refusal to part with land that has held up proposed skyways for seven years”.

In February, the MoD had announced the SCB elections, but they were later deferred. Various Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Residential Welfare Associations sought the merger before the elections and wrote to numerous officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Unfortunately, due to the cancellation of the elections, there was no progress on the matter at that time.

In April, the MoD issued an order directing the Local Military Authorities to reopen the five arterial roads of the SCB, further highlighting the complexities involved in the merger process. The excision of civil areas and their merger with State municipalities involves active consultation and concurrence of the concerned State governments. Therefore, it is not feasible to provide any time-frame for its implementation, said Minister Ajay Bhatt in Rajya Sabha.

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