Modus-operandi was very simple.
• Step 1. Cantonment Executive Officer and elected members of SCB colluded to get permission for building from SCB. Objections by the Military Members (if any) were bulldozed).
• Step 2. Permission given for construction of building strictly within rules.
• Step 3. Builder commits violations in terms of excess covered area and addition of extra floor.
• Step 4. SCB issues notice on paper.
• Step 5. Notice is not followed through.
• Step 6. No follow-up report is ever presented to SCB. Even if the President SCB (who is a military officer) asks for progress, he is either given wrong information or plain-simple ignored.
• Objections of local military units/ officials on security and hygiene ground ignored.
It is likely that on 22/04/11 the local media carries no (NO) report of this scam. Why? Because they have been fed a preposterous lie, that is, since 80 per cent of buildings can be taken as illegal, nothing much can be done now. Logic is twofold. (a) You cannot demolish such a huge number of buildings where innocent people have invested their life’s earnings and (b) violations on such a large scale prove that rules are inherently out-dated. Then why do we want to destroy Adarsh Building in Mumbai?
This unethical argument seems to have been bought by the media. Because we have heard and accepted this argument ad-infinitum in past too. Trains are stopped and buses burnt with no adverse consequences for the rioters because they are supposedly fighting a wrong. Illegal colonies are regularised with disastrous consequences for urban infrastructure because where will the poor go! Inaction or acquiescence in such cases lets the selfish politico and bureaucrat get away with poor governance and corruption. Net result is that we are becoming a country of gated communities where the well-off live in hostile co-existence with neighbouring slums and commuting between cities has become movement from one bypass to other bypass.
While in civil side we have this ability to ghettoise. What will happen to military if cantonments are allowed to become playground of corrupt officials and builders. Advent of these corrupt has already led to neutralisation of military in all Cantonment Boards. To start with the life in a cantonment revolved around military. The civil segment was in support of and supported by the military. Now the situation has changed. Needs of ever increasing civil segment are driving growth of urban ghettos deep inside cantonments. These ever expanding sprawls are clashing with and inhibiting genuine military needs. Firing ranges are closed because civil buildings have come up around them. Training Areas have become segmented by roads criss-crossing to connect adjoining urban sprawls. Internal roads of Cantonment meant for military traffic are monopolised by heavy through-traffic causing delay and accidents to military movements.
Cantonments are being destroyed as a military sinecure we know. Thus today Indian Army is travelling longer distances and stays out for longer period from home station to avail limited training areas. With the Army men away for months to far-off training areas and cantonments becoming a bastion of anti-social elements, the families left behind in cantonments are exposed to all kind of depredations. This sense of insecurity destroys the morale of troops.
It is a well-known fact that today Indian military in general and Army in particular is facing a huge problem of encroachments and illegal activities inside cantonments. More and more of its time and manpower is getting diverted towards guarding it precious assets. Such an Army cannot train well and an untrained army is nothing but an armed mob which will never be able to fight a resolute and well trained enemy. Our own history tells us this. Our own history tells us this.