LMA drive spots commercial activities in servant quarters of Officers’ Mess

A drive to regularise entry passes within the Southern Command Officers' Mess has revealed that civilian residents of the servant quarters of the mess have been carrying out commercial activities and staying without police verifications, according to the Local Military Authority (LMA).

Close to 85 tenants and their families reside in these servant quarters.

The LMA is learnt to have given a deadline of December 31 to get new passes made.

The families claimed that the Army authorities "suddenly stopped issuing entry passes to them and have given a deadline of December 31 to get new passes made".

They alleged that the Army had also been cancelling the passes of individuals who had crossed the age of 18, while refusing to issue new passes to those whose passes had expired. The residents claimed to have been occupying the quarters for over 60 years.

The LMA, however, has a different version to narrate.

In a detailed reply to the queries posed by Newsline, the LMA said: "A drive was carried out to regularise the passes and it was found that some of them do not have police verification and that most of the servants staying were carrying out commercial activities in the quarters illegally and were not employed by any institute/officer."

While making it clear that servant passes were not being denied to anybody, the reply said: "There is no restriction imposed by the LMA for children above 18 years of age to stay with their parents in servant quarters. However, it has been observed that the occupants are staying in unhygienic conditions in one-room quarters with their children and grandchildren. Ideally, only wife and husband with next of kin should stay in the servant quarters, or else living conditions will become unhealthy and civic hazards will arise."

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