At a time while the controversy is raging over the allotment of mammoth 2,61,000 square ft land in Khadki for the post retirement accommodation of president Pratibha Patil, more than 50 families of jawans of the Territorial Army (TA) battalion and other battalions are living in subhuman conditions behind Anand Talkies in Ghorpadi as they have been deprived of proper accommodation by the army.
With Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB) allowing 1 floor space index (FSI) of construction on residential land, this would translate into 346 tenements for married jawans. According to the ministry of urban development norms, a married jawan is allowed accommodation of approximately 753 square ft carpet area.
The army, however, maintains that there remains a deficiency in married accommodation for jawans.
A comparative analysis of living conditions of jawans and high ranked officers of Indian Army reveals the shocking disparity. The high ranked officers have provisions of married accommodation from 2,000 sq ft to palatial bungalows.
What adds to the jawans’ plight is the poor allowances or the Compensation in lieu of Quarters (CILQ) which is a mere Rs 1,600. A decent accommodation in Pune costs more than Rs6,000. This has forced them to live in conditions, where the locality and the houses are as good as slums.
“The rent we pay for the one hall kitchen home here is Rs 4,000. The CILQ is noteven half the rent amount. We are compelled to live in these condition as proper accommodation is either not available, or we remain on the waiting list,” said a naik (name withheld) who serves in the TA battalion. A look at this naik’s home highlights the poor picture of dampened walls and tinned roofs.
Earlier, Southern Command (SC), Pune had clarified that the laid down authorisation of married accommodation for all units is 35 per cent. According to the reply sent to DNA, nearly a month ago from the SC, Pune, “There is an overall deficiency of married accommodation in the army. In order to make up the deficiency, the government has approved the construction of dwelling units (DUs) under Married Accommodation Project (MAP).”
However, the present scenario shows an altogether different picture. More than 750 jawans serve at the TA battalion, of which, only a dozen have been provided with quarters in the Cantonment area. Similar is the story of other jawans serving in the Southern Command Signal Divison, Artillery Division and Army Service Corps. The other jawans have to make their own accommodation arrangements, not to forget, the low CILQ provided.
-via Daily Bhaskar