Military


Indian Army Facilities

Cantonments were conceived by the British for a peaceful and insulated living, away from the hustle- bustle of city life. Cantonments were established during the British era usually in their military areas where both civilian and military personnel resided. Over the years, cities have expanded and taken most of the cantonments in their folds engulfing their basic chaste entity.

There are 62 Cantonments in India. These are located in 16 States and the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Cantonment Boards are autonomous bodies functioning under the overall control of the Central Government in the Ministry of Defence under the provisions of Cantonments Act, 1924. Cantonment Boards comprise elected representatives besides ex-officio and nominated members with the Station Commander as the President of the Board. Supervision and control over the working of these bodies is exercised through the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Commands at the intermediate level and by the Central Government through the Director General Defence Estates/ Ministry of Defence at the apex level. The resources of the Cantonment Boards are limited as the bulk of the property in the Cantonment is Government owned on which no tax can be levied. The Central Government provides financial assistance by way of grant-in-aid to a certain extent to balance their Budget. During 1999-2000, Rs.21.78 crore have been allocated on this account for discharging the mandatory civic duties like provision of public health, sanitation, primary education and street lighting etc.

In democratic countries, forts and palaces have been happily and healthily held by armies. Apart from the daily maintenance of the structure, there is an element of shine and ceremony that a professional army adds to such historic sites. Buckingham Palace in London has the Brigade of Guards and the Tower of London was the Yeoman of Guard, a unit of army pensioners. The US army names all its major cantonments with the prefix 'Fort'.

The Jhansi Fort, once the seat of Indian Army, has now been evacuated. Kangla Fort, inhabitated by Assam Rifles since 1891 was handed over by Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to Manipur Chief Minister, Mr Okram Ibobi Singh. In fact, it would be better to keep the forces at such places of historical importance along with a permanent presence of ASI. Keeping the Army, or for that matter, even para-military forces in forts, may not only be worthwhile but necessary if all these fascinating structures are to be maintained as a proof of our rich past.

Ordnance Depots

Ordnance Depot anti-sabotage measures include twin fencing around the depots, patrolling and deployment of security personnel on watch towers along the fence. The security is looked after by either the Ordnance Depot staff or the Defence Security Corps. In forward areas, ammunition dumps are secured by infantry soldiers.

There have been six major fires at ammunition depots since 28 April 2000. Of these, the Bharatpur depot fire (April 28, 2000) resulted in loss of ammunition worth Rs 393 crore. The blaze at 2 Ammunition Sub-Depot (18 Field Area Depot) at Pathankot (April 29, 2001) blew up Rs 27.39 crore of ammo, while the latest big scorcher at 2 Ammunition Sub-Depot (24 Field Area Depot) at Birdhwal near Suratgarh (May 24, 2001) destroyed ammunition worth Rs 378 crore. The Pathankot and Birdhwal depots store what in defence parlance is called the "First Line of Ammunition". The dumps are in the vicinity of the fighting forces which comprise the first line of defence against an enemy attack, and store ammo which is required for "immediate use in the event of an outbreak of war".

The Government has laid emphasis on modernization of Ordnance and ammunition depots. The Ordnance services have been getting the desired financial support and have started making visible progress in this direction. One of the major constraints in the past to modernize the depots has been budgetary. Since 1950s till the year 1999, works worth only Rs.192 Crores were sanctioned for construction of ammunition storage accommodation. The Government now has removed this constraint and in the years 2000-01 and 2001-02 works worth Rs.228 Crores and Rs.147 Crores were released/approved respectively. Projects worth Rs. 146 Crores are under execution during the current financial year. This allotment of additional funds will go a long way in creation of more storage accommodation for shifting ammunition, at present stored on open plinths under canvas/tentage to proper Explosive Stores Houses.

Works worth Rs.313 Crores have been projected for the year 2002-03. Hence, in three years Rs. 788 Crores has been allotted for this purpose. Once these works are completed, adequate covered accommodation will be available for the ammunition. Emphasis is on replacing the temporary accommodation by permanent accommodation and providing the necessary security, fire fighting and technical infrastructure in the ammunition depot. A sum of Rs.3565 Crore has also been projected in the Army's 10th Plan towards modernization of ammunition depots, security and Fire Fighting infrastructure, computerization and raising of two new ammunition depots.

During the 10th Plan an expenditure of Rs. 900 Crores has been projected for Modernization of Central Ordnance Depot, Agra, Central Ordnance Depot, Jabalpur and Central Ordnance Depot, Delhi Cantonment (Rs. 300 Cr. each). Rs. 872 Crores is earmarked for Explosive Stores Houses. These investments will lead to major refinements and improvements. It has also been decided to modernize seven Central Ordnance Depots located at Agra, Mumbai, Chheoki, Delhi Cantonment, Dehu Road, Jabalpur and Kanpur in a phased manner. To begin with, modernization of the Central Ordnance Depot, Kanpur has been taken up involving an expenditure of Rs.187 Crores. The project envisaging complete mechanization of the stores handling, construction of additional storage accommodation and improvement in security environment was expected to be completed by December 2003.

Cantonments and Military Stations

There are 62 Cantonments and 299 Military Stations. Cantonments and Military Stations in peace areas are towns designed to house troops along with their families. Cantonments are stations notified under the Cantonments Act 1924 for purpose of Local Self Government. Military Stations are not so notified. The support services like up keep of roads, disposal of garbage, water supply, sewage services etc., are done in Cantonments by the static civilian population under the Cantonment Boards. These functions are performed by the concerned Station Headquarters in Military Stations. There is no fixed ratio of military and Civil population in Cantonments or in Military Stations. There is no supporting civilian population in Military Stations and the minimum essential civilian staff for support services are employees of the Central Government. There is no proposal to abolish Cantonments.

Six cantonments are established after 1947. No cantonment has been established in the country since the early 1960s while Defence lands have increased four-fold since 1960 and now occupy over 22 lakh acres. In many cases the Civilian population in some cantonments has increase considerably. In fact, in some cases it has become the majority of the population and some neighbouring towns or villages have also expanded and merged into the contiguous cantonments. All the cantonments have a civilian segment that distinguishes or differentiates the cantonment from the military station.

It is regarded as very essential that the character of the cantonment is maintained, they are Islands of Urban sanity, they area well maintained, better planned and the Government has no intention whatsoever to detract from the character of the cantonments in these country.

Abohar
Bathinda Cantt
Dehradun Cantt
Gwalior
Jamnagar
Lalgarh Jattan
Mohanbari
Ranchi (Namkum)
Suratgarh
Agartala, Tripura
Beas Punjab
Delhi Cantt
Haldawani
Janglot
Lansdowne
Mumbai
Rangapahar
Talbehat
Agra Cantt
Belgaon
Devlali
Hattigor Cantt
Jhansi
Lehbong
Nasirabad
Rangiya  Cantt
Tenga
Ahmednagar
Bengdubi
Dharangadhra
Hempur
Jodhpur
Lekhapani
Old Amritsar Cantt
Ranikhet
Tezpur
Akhnoor
Bhopal
Dharchula
Hissar
Jorhat
Liemakhong Manipur
Pachmarhi
Roorkee
Thakurbari
Alhial
Bhuj
Dharmshala
Hyderabad
Joshimath
Lucknow
Palampur
Rupa Cantt
Thill Rown,Dhar Road
Allhabad Cantt
Bikaner
Dinjan
IBH
Kalimpong
Ludhiana
Pallavram Chennai
Saharanpur
Tibri Cantt
Alwar
Binaguri
Faizabad
Jabalpur
Kamptee
Madhopur
Panagarh
Samba
Tripura
Ambala Cantt
Bowanpally
Faridkot
Jaipur
Kanchrapara
Mamun
Panitola
Secunderbad
Trivandrum
Anand Parbat
New Delhi
Cannanore
Fatehgarh
Jalandhar Cantt
Kandrori
Masinpur
Pathankot
Sevoke Road
Udaipur
Babina Cantt
Chandimandir
Fazilka
Jalapahar
Kankinara
Mathura Cantt
Phyang (Leh)
Shikargarh,Jodhpur
Udhampur
Bakloh
Chaubattia Rkt
Ferozpur Cantt
Jalipa
Kanpur Cantt
Meerut Cantt
Pithoragarh
Shillong
Umroi Cantt
Banar
Chennai
Gandhinagar
Jammu
(BD Bari)
Kapurthala
Mehdipatnam
Pune
Shimla
Unchibassi
Bangalore
Chheoki
Gangtok
Jammu (Damana)
Kirkee, Pune
Mhow
Raiwala
Shiv Mandir
Vadodra
Baramulla
Dakneswar
Gaya
Jammu (Kaluchak)
Kohima
Miran Sahib
Rakhmuthi
Sri Ganga Nagar
Varanasi
Bareilly
Dalhousie
Goa
Jammu (Ratnuchak)
Kolhapur
Mirthal
Ramgarh Cantt
Srinagar
Yol Cantt
Barrackpore
Dehradun (Clement Town)
Gopalpur
Jammu (Sunjuwan)
Kolkata
Misa Cantt
Ranchi (Dipatoli)
Sringar
 
Basoli
Dehradun (IMA)
Guwahati
Jammu Cantt
Kota
Misamari
Ranchi (Dipatoli)
Sukhna
 



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