The bungalows have changed many hands over the period and are presently under new ownership.
With the sprawling cantonment bungalows frequently changing hands, the Defence Estates Directorate, Southern Command has directed the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) administration to undertake the painting of the signage and notice boards placed in front of all the bungalows in coordination with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
In a letter addressed to the Defence Estate Officer (DEO), Pune Circle and Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) on November 21, the Defence Estate Directorate stated that it is noticed that most of the signage and notice boards in front of bungalows in the cantonment area are presently discoloured and rusted.
The directorate further ordered the DEO to undertake painting of the signages and notice boards in front of all bungalows in coordination with the Chief Executive Officer, Pune.
Reacting to the development, PCB CEO Subrat Pal said, “All necessary assistance will be extended to the Defence Estate Office for the directions issued by the Directorate,” he added.
Currently, there are roughly 250 bungalows in the Pune cantonment area and over the past few decades some of them have been converted into flourishing commercial establishments, restaurants, hotels, including shopping malls.
Civic activist Rajabhau Chavan said, “There is a need for the names of the current occupants to be put in bold letters so that the citizens come to know about their holder of occupancy name. At the same time, the grant details must also be painted in bold letters so that the entire citizenry knows of the actual possessors of the cantonment bungalows which brings accountability and transparency in the public limelight,” he said.
The bungalows have changed many hands over the period and are presently under new ownership. The last major action in connection with the sprawling bungalows in the cantonment was reported in 2012 when the military authorities initiated the resumption of possession of all the bungalows in the Pune cantonment area.
The PCB authorities had even issued resumption notices to the bungalow owners following the expiry of their 99-year-old lease. As of 2018, Southern Command which covers large territory, had 792 old grant bungalows out of which 112 had already been resumed, 680 were yet to be resumed and 57 were under the process of resumption.
According to civic activists, a majority of the cases of encroachments, loss of revenue and mismanagement of defence land pertain to Class B and C lands. As per CLAR 1937 and the Cantonments Board Act 2006, the Director General (DG) of Defence Estates (DGDE) is responsible for the management of the said lands and properties. Encroachments and mismanagement of defence lands have been well documented in annual CAG Reports. However, encroachments and mismanagement cases have only escalated with each passing year.
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