Saturday, November 07, 2009

Development work eats into Army land

Development work eats into Army land
Seeks More Space To Conduct Training Sessions
Aarthi R | TNN

Bangalore: To all appearances, it may seem the Army has large tracts of land in the city which it guards rather zealously. But, increasing land requirement for development and infrastructure projects has squeezed them into smaller spaces. Now, they’re short of almost 3,000 acres for their own purposes.
Post-Independence, approximately 200-250 acres have been given away for various development works. This includes a 125 acres for the Bangalore Metro project of BMRC, with Reach 1 stretch on M G Road getting approximately 5-6 acres.
The Army has also transferred land in various other areas for road widening and other public utilities. Approximately 10-15 acres have been given for development in the TV tower area in J C Nagar.
During the late ‘90s, it parted with huge chunks of land for the Ring Road near the Old Airport area towards Koramangala. The transfer was later compensated by the government with officers’ accommodation at the National Games Village complex in Koramangala.
According to senior Army officials in-charge of land, the land availability for defence forces in the city vis-a-vis other Indian cities is quite poor. This deficit has been discussed continue managing with the available land that’s getting less. We’re unable to conduct our training sessions the way we would have. We are negotiating with civil authorities to get our due as well as seek additional land to meet our infrastructure development and land for training as well as for firing.
“In spite of our efforts in the past few years to find a solution to land shortage as well as our willingness to accept the requirements of civil authorities on condition of equivalent exchange of land, we’re surprised why they are yet to come up with a concrete proposal to take what they want and give what’s due to us. We are OK with land even in the outskirts.’’
at almost every Civil Military Liaison Conference (CMLC) over the past two decades.
A majority of defence areas in the city are ‘assigned land’ by the Mysore Maharaja to the British for military purpose. These are mainly concentrated in the Cantonment areas with large sections in South Bangalore areas of Iblur and Agaram.
Recently, chief minister B S Yeddyurappa wrote to defence minister A K Antony for transfer of a total 36.3 acres of defence land to the BBMP for works related to roads, bridges and storm water drains.
Senior Army officials told TOI: “We’re ready to contribute land for city development. However, it’s getting difficult for us to


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