A clarion call to merge Secunderabad Cantonment Board with GHMC

A clarion call to merge Secunderabad Cantonment Board with GHMC
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The statement by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Thursday has brought a ray of hope to the residents of Secunderabad Cantonment.

Secunderabad: The statement by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Thursday has brought a ray of hope to the residents of Secunderabad Cantonment. Addressing a gathering at Raksha Mantri's Awards for Excellence 2019, he stated that "That Cantonment Boards should be gentle with the residents, especially poor living within their jurisdictions, and also the locals should not fear of officials, and instead, they should feel protected by them. Also, the government should provide high-quality education and low-cost health to the poor sections of society".

The Cantonment of Pune is well developed because it is a major southern Cantonment headquarters. However, the Secunderabad Cantonment areas have been deprived of development. The people suffer due to do proper healthcare centre, shortage of government colleges apart from higher water tariff and property tax, as compared to those in GHMC jurisdiction.

Many residents expressed that it would be better if SCB is merged with the GHMC. "I totally agree with what the Defence Minister said. Even basic facilities like, roads, health, and sanitation are in a deplorable state. Even the board meetings are not held regularly. The SCB has no citizen charter but GHMC has," said S Nayeem Pasha, resident of ward 2.

"Though technology is gaining pace in the city but SCB is still following old models. Even now the SCB practises the manual submission of applications for building permissions, which have to be later approved by a meeting of the board. There is allegedly no fixed time-frame for clearing these applications, and it usually ends up taking four to six months," said Anil Babu, a resident of 108 Basthi.

"As the Defence Minister stated, it is very much true; we are staying in fear and even there is no development over here. Most of the people residing here are not aware of how Cantonment Board members work. Every time they make a statement that there are no sufficient funds. No reforms have been made in these 10 years for the betterment of the public," said Shravan Kumar, a resident of SCB –ward 4.

"As of today, we are under constant fear in our area as we are staying in the defence land. The basic animates are poor in this area and especially the acute shortage of water in spite of paying hefty bills in time. Basic education facilities are lacking in the Cantonment. As a lot of poor people reside here, there are no high school, degree and PG colleges in the Cantonment. The main drawback is absence of cleanness what the defence minister stressed on. The SCB worker do not clean the area regularly and also leave many stretches," said Janardhan , resident of Tirumalgherry, ward 5.

"The defence minister's statement is an indication that the Cantonment officials are no friendly with the civilians and they deserve humanly treatment. The 200 years old British rules & laws should be removed as they are suppressing the natives here," said Jetender Surana, member of the Secunderabad Cantonment Citizens Welfare Association (SCCWA).

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