Subcommittee formed to hammer out SCB-GHMC merger

Hyderabad: The eight-member committee, which was recently formed by the ministry of defence (MoD), on Friday created a subcommittee on Friday comprising locals to hammer out the terms and conditions relating to the SCB merger with the GHMC.

The move follows the Telangana government’s acceptance of the MoD’s proposal to merge the civilian areas of the cantonment with the GHMC.

The final report from the eight-member panel must be sent to the MoD by February 4; thereafter, the state government and the ministry will work out the modalities of the merger.

The committee discussed the modalities, including land and immovable assets as well as where the board employees would be posted from if the merger went through. Other topics included the issue of pensions, pending cantonment funds from both the Telangana and the central governments, delivery of civic services, which primarily include sanitation and road safety.

During the hour-long meeting, in-depth discussions were held on moveable properties, road management, particularly for the roads that have been closed.

According to sources, the SCB was willing to give up certain areas for the merger while the state government has been seeking the entire land. For reasons of security, the cantonment intended to maintain control over a few areas.

According to sources, the MoD gave consent for exclusion of civilian areas from the cantonment and that it wanted the state government to reconsider its demand of seeking all cantonment land. The SCB only caters to the needs of the MoD and is not involved in any decisions involving the land, sources said.

The appointment of the committee members, which does not include public representatives such as TPCC president A. Revanth Reddy and Union minister G. Kishan Reddy as well as other members from the central government, has angered the local communities.

“The merger is a serious matter. This must involve the local public representatives because they are familiar with the situation on the ground. Most of the land under the military belongs to the State government ever since the Nizam era and must be resumed by them. The rules clearly state that the state government can take back the land from the military if not in use. The dairy farm road which clearly mentions dairy has not been set up and must be taken back by the government. The Parade Grounds, Gymkhana Grounds must be transformed into big sports fields,” said economist and policy expert Mohan Guruswamy.

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