Annadale ground to remain in possession of army: CM


    Annadale 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 CM Sh. 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 realize 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 Sh. 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.


    Mr. 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.

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    ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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