Spl committee on SCB excision: Efforts of Telangana govt, KTR come to fruition

The special eight-member committee, set up by the MoD to chalk out the modalities for the excision of civilians areas of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board and their merger into the GHMC


HYDERABAD: The special eight-member committee, set up by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Wednesday to chalk out the modalities for the excision of civilians areas of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board and their merger into the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), took the protracted campaign for the cause a step closer to reality. The MoD’s decision also came with a sense of accomplishment for the relentless efforts made by the Telangana Government and K T Rama Rao, Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development.

De-merging or excision of the civilian areas from the grasp of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board is a demand that has been hanging fire for several decades now.

The formation of the special committee follows a formal consent given by the Telangana government to an MoD proposal to this effect. The consent letter, signed by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), was forwarded to the Ministry of Defence on December 14, 2022.

The special committee, according to the MoD letter dated January 4, 2023, will comprise joint secretary (finance) while featuring MoD’s joint secretary (lands and works), additional director general (cantonments), director general of defence estates (DGD), additional DG (land, works and environment) from the Army headquarters in Delhi, secretary of Telangana MA&UD, director of defence estates (southern command in Pune to which SCB belongs) and president of the Cantonment Board as its members. The joint secretary (finance) will officiate as the committee’s chairman.

As part of a mammoth task, the committee will consider various aspects including land and immovable assets, Cantonment Board employees/pensioners, Cantonment funds, civic services, movable properties and stores, road management and traffic and records, according to the MoD letter.

Besides the KCR government’s efforts, a campaign started by KTR on Twitter in September 2021 gave the much-needed impetus for the cause of SCB civilian areas.

“Read a couple of news reports today where citizens overwhelmingly opined that Secunderabad Cantonment Board has to be merged in GHMC.

I am in agreement too. What do you guys say?” read his tweet then, garnering instant attention on the social messaging platform.

The Telangana government giving its formal consent and the Ministry of Defence forming the eight-member committee for modalities for excision and subsequent merger into the GHMC signalled a seeming end to the decades-long wait for over four lakh residents of the SCB.

Over the last several years, more than 100 welfare associations of the cantonment board have been pressing hard for the merger of their areas into the GHMC. Their biggest concern was the continued neglect besides the lack of basic amenities and development on par with other adjoining areas falling under the GHMC limits.

Meanwhile, members of the Cantonment Vikas Manch erupted into celebrations on Thursday rejoicing the formation of the special committee. A large number of the organisation’s members garlanded the statue of Dr B R Ambedkar at Picket and burst fire-crackers to celebrate the news.

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