PCB proposes to regularise DSW’s ‘unauthorised’ structure

PCB officials said the construction, though unauthorised, is in accordance with building bylaws

It has come to light that the Department of Sainik Welfare (DSW) of the Government of Maharashtra (GoM) has carried out 1721 sq mtr of unauthorised construction on prime defence land that they hold on lease. The details were revealed recently at the general body meeting of the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB).

PCB officials said the construction, though unauthorised, is in accordance with building bylaws and that the matter of regularising the structure by levying 10 per cent fees on the unauthorised construction cost will be sent to the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Southern Command for regularisation.

The construction, worth about Rs 1 crore includes Mahasainik Lawns marriage hall called Hirkani which is lent to ex-servicemen for marriages and other functions. The other constructions include a dormitory building, a toilet block, an office and a mini multipurpose hall called Mastani, which has a capacity to accommodate about 200-250 people. The agenda for the GB read, "The deputy director (of DSW) has admitted that they have carried out the unauthorised construction and now are willing to regularise the same."

Maj (retd) Milind Tungar, deputy director, DSW, told The Indian Express, "We have changed the direction in which Hirkani was to be constructed. In the original plan, it was to be constructed east-west, but we constructed it north-south. The other unauthorised constructions that the PCB is talking about are technical modifications such as few meter deviations from the on-paper plans. We want to adhere to the rulebook."

Lt Col Suhas Jatkar, director, DSW, was not available for comment. The matter surfaced in 2010 when DSW approached PCB and Defence Estates Office (DEO) for approving the plan for construction of an additional building, request for which was rejected by DEO, citing unauthorised structures.

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