Property owners in Cantonment areas still can’t take up minor repairs, ET RealEstate

June 26, 2023

SECUNDERABAD: Ministry of defence (MoD) authorities have warned Cantonment officials not to harass owners of buildings on leased land parcels and old grant bungalows (OGBs). However, property owners, both residential and commercial in Secunderabad Cantonment, claim they cannot take up even minor repairs.

In an order issued to chief executive officers (CEOs) of cantonment boards and defence estates officers (DEOs), the MoD has advised field officers (engineering wing) to sensitize their staff not to harass citizens.

Property owners have reportedly been facing harassment from SCB and DEO staff even to take up minor repairs, internal alterations, building parapet wall, repairing staircases, white washing, re-flooring and even patch works.

As there was no mechanism to register complaints regarding harassment, property owners allegedly used to grease the palms of staff and take up repairs. In fact, owners of OGBs were facing harassment even for taking up alternations to their bungalows, built during the British era.

All Cantonments Citizen’s Welfare Association, which has members from all 62 cantonment boards, took up the issue with MoD in 2019 and urged the authorities to end harassment.

An expert committee on working of cantonment boards, set up by MoD and asked to study the issue, submitted a report. The committee, which did an extensive study, recommended that citizens need not take permission from defence authorities to take up repairs of buildings in the Cantonment areas.

Based on panel’s recommendations, MoD has issued orders in 2019 and short-listed some works which could be taken up without permission of Cantonment authorities.

“Even after MoD’s orders, the harassment is continuing,” a lease holder of an OGB at Sikh Village told TOI. The occupant had taken up repair of a parapet wall. Within hours, SCB officials landed at the location and warned the occupants that no alterations could be taken up without permission from authorities concerned (SCB and DEO).

SCB officials, however, denied the allegations.

  • Published On Jun 25, 2023 at 02:00 PM IST

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