Army Veterans' Welfare Complex inaugurated

Special Correspondent

"A model of self-help, first of its kind in India" "It is a beautiful complex, and should be maintained properly"

VELLORE: General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command, Pune, Aditya Singh, has dedicated the Army Veterans' Welfare Complex, constructed at a cost of Rs.3.5 crore near the VIT University on Katpadi-Tiruvalam Road, for the welfare of ex-servicemen here on Thursday. For this purpose, 4.5 acres of land was acquired from the Tamil Nadu Government at a cost of Rs.12.35 lakh.

Lt. Gen. Aditya Singh said that this welfare complex, which is the first of its kind in the country, was a model of self-help by the ex-servicemen, and should be replicated in all other districts in the country.

It was a beautiful complex, and should be maintained properly, he said.

General Officer Commanding of Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka Area, B. Sivasankar said that the foundation for the complex was laid by his predecessor Paramjit Singh on August 28, 2005.

The complex comprises canteen stores department in one building and a multi-purpose community hall with guest rooms in a separate building located on the western side. P.K. Nandagopal, a retired Brigadier, inaugurated the canteen complex. Ex-servicemen C. Duraisamy and A. Punniakotti inaugurated the amenity hall.

Lt.Gen. Aditya Singh said that the district had been chosen for the pilot project for the construction of the complex.

"If the people at the ground-level come forward to help themselves, the Area Headquarters is always willing to help you," he noted. The building has been constructed with earthquake-resistant features and parking space for 200 vehicles. A bus would be provided for the ex-servicemen to visit the complex. A polyclinic for ex-servicemen would be constructed on the premises under the Ex-Servicemen's Contributory Health Scheme.

When told that the complex was not disabled-friendly since it could be accessed only by climbing a flight of steps, Lt.Gen. Aditya Singh said that he had ordered the construction of a lift in the canteen section, which would be ready in six months. Besides, ramps would be provided both for the canteen section and the community hall.

All future army veterans' welfare complexes to be constructed in the country would have ramps, he said.