Army insists on tough rules over merger of GHMC, SCB

Hyderabad: While the state government has demanded that all the Secunderbad cantonment land be merged with the GHMC, the Indian Army wants to retain its land and the old bungalows.

The local military authority (LMA) wanted enforcement of the Army Establishment Rules that mandate that residents — under certain conditions — in the periphery obtain a no-objection certificate after the merger.

These were some of the critical points submitted by the Army when the eight-member committee constituted by the ministry of defence (MoD) on the SCB-GHMC merger met virtually on January 13.

Even if residents obtain such a NoC — the process is said to take nearly two years — it comes with certain conditions including building height restrictions. The residents are allowed to construct only the up to the first floor.

This is the one rule that the Army wants to apply even after the merger, sources said, adding that the Army officers also insisted that all the old bungalows and surplus lands under the military should be under the Army’s control even after the merger.

J. Rama Krishna, Secunderabad Cantonment Board member, said that the board’s properties, movable and immovable assets have been valued at close to Rs 50,000 crore. This valuadion does not include parcels of A1 defence land and B3 bungalow land areas.

If the state government grants a yearly budget of Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore, the cantonment could be turned into a model township or modern urban local body, Rama Krishna said.

On the other hand, sources differed on the valuation of SCB’s properties, stating that it would not be so high value. They also said that the state government does not have to pay anything as the government would only take over the jurisdiction of the land which was discussed under excision.

Only the jurisdiction and the land rights were being passed on to the GHMC from the cantonment, sources said, adding that how much of the land and what all parts of the land would be merged would be the MoD’s decision.

The political decision to marge cantonments with adjacent municipalities applied to all the 62 cantonments in the country and not just Secunderabad, Rama Krishna added.

l In reference of the circular dated 18. May.2011 read with amendments issued vide circular of even number dated 18.March.2015 and 17.November.2015 and No guidelines issued vide MoD letter dated 21.a October.2016 regarding grant of No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Local Military Authority (LMA) for construction of buildings in vicinity of defence establishments. In supersession of above guidelines, fresh guidelines for issue of NOC for construction in vicinity of defence establishments were laid down on 23 December 2022.

l For all other defence establishment not listed at Annexure A, the said prescribed distance shall be 100 meter (for multistoried building of more than four storey, the distance shall be 500 meter) from the periphery;

l  In such Defence establishments not listed at Annexure A, wherever buildings / structure of four storeys or more already exist within 500 metres of the periphery of any Defence establishment and the construction proposed is in the line with or behind i.e. in the shadow or shield of such building / structure, the State Government / Municipal Corporation may, after obtaining comments from the MA and giving due consideration to the same, decide whether to approve such proposals or not. LMA shall give his comments within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of a reference from the State Government / Municipal Corporation.

l NOC once issued will not be withdrawn without the approval of the Service HQrs. However, MoD reserves the right to review any NoC granted by the Station Commander and pass such order thereon as deemed fit.

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