Military Engineer Services
The Military Engineer Services are responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of all works, buildings, airfields, dock installations, etc,. together with accessory services such as military roads, water and electricity supply, drainage, refrigeration, furniture, required by the Army, Navy and Air Force in India.
Military Engineer Services (MES) is the largest construction agency in the country. As the premier engineering arm of the Ministry of Defence, the MES primarily provides for the three arms of Defence forces, the Army, Air Force and Navy and also to other Defence related departments and organisations. It was founded in 1851 to provide rear-line-engineering support to the erstwhile British Indian Army. With a long and eventful history, the MES has come of age, growing along with the engineering profession and the needs of hi-tech Armed Forces of Independent India.
The MES functions under the overall control of the Engineer-in-Chief, who is the adviser to the Ministry of Defence and the three Services on construction engineering. It is structured to design works which are executed through contracts under the supervision of officers and staff consisting of both civilians and combatants from the Corps of Engineers. It has an integral multi-disciplinary team of architects, civil, electrical and mechanical engineers, structural designers, quantity surveyors and contract specialists for planning, designing and supervision of works.
The Indian Defense Service Engineers [IDSE], the civilian Engineer Cadre of MES, was constituted under the Constitution of India as an organised service on 17 Sep 1949. Today IDSE has a strong cadre of 1000 officers constituting this construction agency with an annual work load of exceeding 2500 crores.
The role of IDSE is dual - render engineering advice and execute the works. Its works programme covers, besides conventional buildings, hospitals, sophisticated and complex laboratories and workshops, high rise buildings, air fields and hangars, dockyards, wharves, slipways and other marine works. It deals all the multifarious associated requirements such as air-conditioning, cold storage, electric and water supply, sewage treatment and so on. Most important of all, the facilities, assets and infrastructure created are maintained in a serviceable state and, in some cases, operated too, by the MES.
The Engineer in Chief is the head of the Corps of Engineers and of the Military Engineer Services. For all engineer services, he is the technical advisor to the Chiefs of Staff of the Army, Navy and Air Force and to their respective PSOs. Similarly, he advises the Ministry of Defence with regard to engineer services relating to ordnance factories and P and I & R and D Establishments. He is responsible to CGS and QMG for the procurement, holding and distribution of engineer stores of engineer supply.
The Military Engineer Services are organised by Army Commands under the administration of Chief Engineers who act as technical advisors to the GOs C in C, Administrative officers in charge of Naval Commands, AOC in C / AOs C and DGOF and are responsible for the execution of all Engineer Services for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Ordnance Factories within their jurisdiction. A Chief Engineer may, in special cases, be appointed for large projects which cannot conveniently be handled by the Chief Engineer of a Command. ACE's Command is divided into a number of MES Districts each under the control of a CWE. Districts are further subdivided into divisions and Sub-divisions under the control of GEs and SDOs respectively. The boundaries of MES districts and divisions normally correspond to those of Areas and Sub Areas. Where however such MES formations are intended primarily for the Navy, Air Force or Ordnance Factories or for specific projects, their boundaries will be limited to the extent of their responsibilities.
When Armed forces are called out in aid of Civil Power, the MES may be required to carryout engineer services, essential for such forces e.g. the construction of latrines, water points etc., No administrative approval is necessary for such works which will be carried out on the written authority of the commander in charge of the forces, the actual execution being certified by the Civil authorities. Any expenditure incurred will be booked in the first instance against the normal heads of accounts and all vouchers, bills etc., will be clearly endorsed 'In aid of Civil Power' and notified to the CDA concerned.
Agency Services are services carried out by the MES for other ministries of the Central Governments, except those in respect of the NCC and require the approval of the Govt. of India. Administrative approval to the estimated expenditure will be accorded and funds allotted or guaranteed by the authority concerned. The MES will then be responsible for design and specification and for execution in accordance with regulations.
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