Lansdowne Cantonment Board passes resolution to change name to Jaswantgarh

Decision follows Defence Ministry directive, says Board official

Published - July 01, 2023 02:35 am IST - New Delhi

The authorities of Lansdowne Cantonment – one of the most visited hill stations in Uttarakhand – have passed a resolution to change its name to Jaswantgarh, after Rifleman Jaswant Singh, a Sino-Indian War hero.

Once called Kalundanda, the place was renamed Lansdowne after then Viceroy of India, Lord Henry Lansdowne, in 1890.

The resolution for name change was passed at the recently held Cantonment board meeting headed by chairman, Brigadier Vijay Mohan Choudhary. The board authorities are preparing the letter to be sent to the Principal Director, Defence Estates (PDDE), Lucknow, who will further forward it to the Defence Ministry.

The PDDE controls and directs the functioning of all cantonment boards.

Talking to The Hindu, Binita Jakhmola, office superintendent, Lansdowne Cantonment Board, said the resolution to change the name was taken up on the orders of the Defence Ministry.

“We received a letter from the department concerned that we should pitch a new name for our cantonment. After consulting with locals and stakeholders, we have decided to name it after Shaheed Jaswant Singh,” Ms. Jakhmola said.

Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat of the Garhwal Rifles died in the battle of Nuranang in present-day Arunachal Pradesh, during the 1962 Sino-Indian War. He was awarded the prestigious Maha Vir Chakra posthumously.

Ms. Jakhmola added that the notice for name change had been issued to all cantonments with ‘British’ or ‘English’ names. However, the Army could not confirm it.

The decision to change the name has upset the local residents.

Dalip Rawat, the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Lansdowne, said the decision to rename one of the most popular hill stations was wrong and it would impact the tourism potential of the place. “We, in the first place, want that this board to be dissolved. Rather than doing that, they are thinking to change the name of the place. This is wrong and unfortunate,” Mr. Rawat added.

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