In view of the problems faced by civilian residents in cantonment areas, the government is working to formulate new guidelines on the working of cantonment boards, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday.
“The ministry of defence has started working on new policy guidelines relating to working of cantonment boards,” he said here while addressing the consultative committee attached to his ministry.
This is the first time that a meeting of the consultative committee was held outside the national capital.
Parrikar said he had been receiving a number of representations about the difficulties faced by civilian residents of cantonments such as closure of roads, inordinate delay in transfer and mutation of properties, restriction on construction of buildings, and conversion of old grant or leasehold sites into freehold.
“The government is committed to resolving the problems faced in cantonment areas, keeping in view security considerations and overall public interest while weeding out archaic provisions and replacing these with more realistic rules,” he said.
There are presently 62 cantonments, spread over 1,86,730 acres of land, across the country.
Taking part in the discussion, committee members including Raj Kumar Singh, Anil Shirole, Saugata Roy, VP Singh Badnore, Mahendra Prasad, T.K. Rangarajan and M. Patil Vijaysinh Shankarrao suggested that the government should endeavour to build Smart Cantonments on the line of Smart Cities while urging immediate steps be taken to improve the living conditions of civilian populace in cantonment areas.
Defence Secretary G. Mohan Kumar and other senior defence ministry officials also participated in the meeting.