Civil areas in Secunderabad, other cantonments merged with nearest municipalities

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: In a major win-win situation for both the Centre and various State governments, the union ministry of defence has agreed to de-notify civil areas of various cantonments from the limits of Cantonment Boards.

Among those areas is the Secunderabad Cantonment, where the residents have been long demanding merger of their areas with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) so that they could receive the benefits of basic facilities and civic infrastructure which has evaded them for decades.

The decision has not only provided great relief to the residents living in the civil areas of Secunderabad Cantonment Board (Telangana), but also to the residents of Ahmednagar (Maharashtra), Ajmer (Rajasthan), Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Babina (near Jhansi, UP), Belgaum (Karnataka), Kathroor Deolali (near Nashik, Maharashtra), Kamptee (near Nagpur, Maharashtra), Khadki (Maharashtra), Morar (Madhya Pradesh), Nasirabad (near Ajmer, Rajasthan), Pune (Maharashtra) and Sagar (Madhya Pradesh).

Hemanth Yadav, the deputy director, who is the in-charge director of the Union ministry of defence, southern command, has issued a letter to the chief executive officers of all these cantonment boards on Friday.

The decision was taken in the meeting held on June 26, under the chairmanship of the defence secretary.

“As per decision taken in that meeting, broad guidelines, excision of civil areas of cantonments and their merger with the adjoining state municipalities has been notified.

The guidelines state that the property rights over all assets meant for providing civic amenities and municipal services in the excised area shall be transferred to State government/State municipalities free-of-cost.

However, the assets and liabilities of the respective cantonment boards would be transferred to the particular municipality. The municipal cover over the leased/old grant properties in the excised area would be transferred over the State municipality.

It was also clarified that the property rights over assets of the cantonment board that were meant for providing municipal services and civic amenities were proposed to be transferred free-of-cost to the State municipality

It was decided that the State municipality would be able to impose local taxes/fees over such areas under its jurisdiction

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“However, while segregating the areas, the security concerns of Armed forces would be given the priority. In case there are some such privately held lands (agricultural leases etc.) where the segregation is impinging on security of military station, some shall be considered on case to case basis,” the letter read.

In March 2024, the civil areas of 10 cantonment boards out of the total 58 cantonment boards were de-notified from their respective cantonment boards.

The latest move of the union defence ministry is an extension to its earlier stand of merging the civil areas in various cantonment boards with their nearest municipalities.

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