PCB: How can non-playing LMA hold up bungalow plans?

Mutation, repair, or reconstruction pertaining to bungalows in cantonments are governed by either the Cantonments Act 2006 or the Revised Land Policy of 1995 and the Local Military Authority (LMA) has no role to play in it, says All India Cantonment Bungalow Owner's Association (AICBOA) convener L R Bhojwani.

The AICBOA has been alleging "harassment" by the LMA by holding up mutation, repair, or reconstruction plans of Old Grant Bungalows (OGBs).

As far as reconstruction is concerned, the process first requires the approval of the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB), and the Defence Estates Officer (DEO). Thereafter, it is sent to the Local Military Authority (LMA) only for their comments on the No Objection Certificate. However, it is here that the LMA has been coming down heavily on bungalow owners, they feel.

Brigadier M S Jaswal, the outgoing president of PCB and former LMA, says, "We do not touch properties with lease of perpetuity. In case of OGBs and freehold properties, we are only concerned with properties violating lease agreements. It is my duty to inform the DEO and that is how we keep a check on what is happening in the cantonment. As far as mutation is concerned, the first offers have to be made to the Army given that bungalows are located on Defence land. So in case of leases where we have observed that the Army should have been offered the bungalow before selling it to somebody else, we have objected.

Until 2005-06 a lot of powers were vested with the LMA but these powers have been withdrawn subsequently following scams. There are also issues as to whether one needs to consider old FSI or new FSI as far as reconstruction is concerned. We have approached the government in this regard." G S Rajeswaran, DEO Pune Circle, agreed that mutation is stuck at various levels in the hierarchy of approvals, causing a delay. "In case where there are no complications, we clear mutations immediately," Rajeswaran said.

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