The Army Monday sought land from West Bengal government to set up two military and air force stations in north Bengal to fortify countrys defence in the eastern sector.
The army officials,during the annual civil-military liaison meeting at Nabanna in Howrah,asked the state government for 750 acres of land at Dandim in Jalpaiguri for an Air Force station and 1,000 acres in Kalimpong for military station.
While government delegation was led by Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra,the army was represented by GOC Bengal Area,Lt Gen AK Choudhary. Later,a press release of the army said,a joint inspection would soon be carried out to identify feasibility of land in North Bengal.
While the strategic or operational necessity was not debated or discussed,the new land acquisition procedures will be adhered to, the release said.
The army also sought land for establishing a Sainik School at Darjeeling. The Chief Secretary assured the army delegation that the matter was under consideration and a meeting would soon be held between the state government,Union home ministry and the local authorities.
To enable the existing Sainik School (in Purulia) to get its due from both the Sainik School Society under MoD and the state government,a draft memorandum has been sent to the state government for its consent, the press release further said.
The army also sought land for NCC Directorate (West Bengal & Sikkim) at Bamchandaipur in lieu of land at Sadhanpur,Burdwan,and another 700 sq yds to set up proper Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) Polyclinics across state.
It was decided that for the time being the government wont shift camps in the Maidan area for sadhus coming for the annual Ganga Sagar yatra. The army is opposed to the camps.
The state government,meanwhile,agreed to increase the financial assistance to World War-II veterans,war widows and gallantry award winners from the state. The Chief Secretary has agreed to bring it at par with other states, the army said.
The GOC said that this year all vacancies including the ones in technical cadre had been filled up by the youth from the state. Currently,West Bengal has a 7.81 per cent representation in the armed forces,which is substantial,the GOC said.
Earlier,as the meeting began,the Chief Secretary thanked the army on behalf of the administration for rendering timely assistance in the recent river embankment breach in East Midinapore.