Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Used old grant bungalow for soldiers’ welfare, no loss to exchequer: Sub Area

Written by Pranav Kulkarni | Pune | Posted: May 18, 2014 4:32 am

The Pune Sub Area (PSA) on Saturday defended itself regarding a CAG report that claimed misuse of defence land for commercial activities by PSA. The PSA had permitted an ice cream parlour, ATM and a clothing store from an old grant bungalow, which the CAG said resulted in a loss to the exchequer. The PSA, however, said the permissions were given for welfare of soldiers and amounts were deposited to the government treasury, ensuring no loss to the exchequer.

“Bungalow No 34 Kahun Road in Svy No 329, Pune is an old building of Wellingdon Soldiers Club that has been in possession of the Local Military Authority vide a Lease Deed in Schedule VII of CL-A Rules 1925, in perpetuity executed on 23 Jan 1929.  In the post independence period the Soldiers’ Club did not exist and the available Defence Land was utilised for establishing a Regimental Unit Run Canteen (CSD) in 1955 under the supervision of HQ Pune Sub Area as part of the welfare measures initiated by the Armed Forces to meet the requirement of troops and their families stationed in Pune,” PSA said in reply to a story published in this newspaper regarding the CAG report.

“Some temporary regimental shops in the same compound had been permitted  to cater for the basic requirements and daily needs of troops and their families.  While maintaining the entire land in safe custody, the Pune Sub Area has also ensured payment of electrical and allied charges to the concerned agencies and all dues are being deposited in the government treasury ensuring no loss to the exchequer,” the reply said.

As reported, the CAG has blamed Pune Sub Area (PSA) for allowing commercial activities from within an old grant bungalow (OGB). “The buildings were converted into a shopping complex viz. CSD canteen, ATM counter, tuck shop (food shop), cloth shop, ice cream parlour, electrical shop with the approval of HQ PSA in clear violation of the condition of lease deed and Government orders on the subject… The DEO also sought the details of income collected from these commercial establishments and its remittance into the Government Account. The HQ PSA, however, did not furnish any reply. No further action was taken by the DEO,” the report says.

On being pointed out by CAG about the details of rent received from these establishments, HQ PSA stated that a case had been taken up with the defence ministry to convert the land from B-3 to A-1.

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