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Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Annadale ground to remain in possession of army : Virbhadra Singh

INVC-NEWSINVC NEWS
Shimla, The Annandale ground in Shimla would remain in possession of army as this was the only place which was open and suitable for strategic purposes and for conducting disaster relief and management exercises, said Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh in a Civil Military Liaison Conference held at Western Command headquarters, Chandimandir, today. The Chief Minister said the national security could not be ignored for ‘game and gimmicks’ as the proposal for cricket ground and stadium there would destroy the greenery and become like a concrete jungle. Over and above the ground was handed over to army after the Second World War from strategic point of view and was the only place where in times of emergencies helicopters could land and it would remain with the army for operational purposes. “We are committed for security of the Country and I well realise the importance of the ground on account of defence services and for the very purpose it was handed over to the army for the sake of the Nation”, remarked the Chief Minister. Many futile attempts were made to take over the ground in the past,  but I want to make it a point that though the government keep changing, the possession should always be with the army for proper management  and for ensuring that no tall concrete structures come up in the vicinity of the ground, stressed Shri Virbhadra Singh. He said Himachal Pradesh had made substantial contribution to the armed forces of the Country and was considered as a State wherein there was a tradition that from every house one may serve in army or paramilitary forces. He said that we were committed to the welfare of both serving and retired soldiers and their families. The Chief Minister assured that the government would also support the efforts of army authorities for getting No Objection Certificates from various department for establishing Military Stations on land adjoining  Una and Bilaspur districts as it would be in overall interest keeping in view the prevailing security scenario. The government will also support the cause of the army for other clearances assured the Chief Minister besides pursuing the same at various levels. Land measuring 1053.46 acres of land  has been identified in Una district besides few acres in Bilaspur. The deputy Commissioner Bilaspur has also handed over the necessary certificates required for FCA for transfer of forest land. The issue pertaining to setting up of Canteen Stores Department (CSD) depot at Una was also discussed and the government urged army authorities to speed up the process in this regard and retake the matter with army headquarters. Shri Virbhadra Singh also agreed for providing land adjoining Indo-Tibet National Highway in tribal district of Kinnaur for Ammunition Point (AP). It was on demand of the army that land would be required for relocation of ammunition depot from Poari as Karcham hydro electric Project is coming up in Area of responsibility (AOR) of the army.   It was amicably decided that the government would facilitate early relocation of ammunition point/ depot or any other mutually acceptable place on national highway towards the border area so as to facilitate construction of hydel project. It was also decided to discuss in the State Level Co-ordination Committee the issues of encroachment of army land or acquisition thereof. The army authorities urged for allotment of equal ratio of land and of equal value in view of encroachment of five camping grounds by civil agencies in Nurpur, Shahpur,  Jawali,  Bharwain and Una. The Chief Minister said the State Government would do everything possible and would stand by army and reinforce the existing ties more strongly. He said that the State had more than 1.10 lakh ex-servicemen, around one thousand fifty war widows and around 400 other widows and the Government was committed for the welfare of the serving and the ex-servicemen. Earlier, the Chief Minister was accorded warm welcome by Army Commander Western Command, Lieutenant General Shri Surinder Singh. The Lieut General said that for the welfare of the army veterans, the health institutions empanelled should have more facilities for providing medical care to the ex-servicemen and their families at their door step.  He said that to fulfil the operational commitment of deploying more men near border areas, additional land was required in areas important form strategic point of view. He also raised the issues pertaining to early settlement of cases lands encroached upon or in long standing possession of civil authorities. He also asked to provide land elsewhere in lieu of the same. He said that the matter of CSD for Una would be taken up again with army headquarters so that it could be set up soon in near future. He also raised other issues of welfare of serving and ex-servicemen of the State and said that the army was committed to its veterans and would also assist state government in its endeavours to tackle disasters. Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Dr. (Col), Dhani Ram Shandil,  Chief Secretary. Shri V.C. Pharka, Additional Chief Secretaries Shri Tarun Shridhar and Shri Narinder Chauhan, Principal Secretary, Shri Tarun Kapoor, Secretary GAD, Shri Mohan Chauhan, DGP, Shri Sanjay Kumar, Principal Advisor to CM, Shri TG. Negi , IGP, Southern Zone, Shri Zahur Zaidi were also present on the occasion amongst other senior Civil, Army and police officers.

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