Added on : 2018-07-13 16:21:38
The Indian Army is mulling abolishing all 62 cantonments in the country to save funds used for maintenance. This development comes almost 250 years after the first cantonment to house troops was established by the British at Barrackpore. The Army has told the Ministry of Defence that it can convert sensitive areas within cantonments to “exclusive military stations” and have “absolute control” over them, while civilian areas can be handed over to local authorities. The move will free the Army from the annual maintenance of cantonments, which is set to cost the service around 476 crore this year.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has ordered a feasibility study on the issue. In 2015, a study carried out by the defence secretary had identified Lucknow, Almora, Ahmednagar, Ferozepur and Yol cantonments for excision of civilian areas. The Ministry of Defence owns 17.3 lakh acres of land in the country. Of this, almost two lakh acres fall in the 62 cantonments in 19 states.