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MoD sets in motion to monetise surplus defence land

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has set in motion the first step to monetise the thousands of acres of unused land. A letter has been sent to all three services, the DRDO, Coast Guard, Ordnance Factory Board, among others to identify the type of land needed by them over the two decades. The remaining surplus may be compiled and reconciled with the Director-General Defence Estates (DGDE) within three months, says a letter of the MoD sent out on May 6. 

Some of these expected surplus lands are old British era camping ground used when long campaigns had to be sustained, old unused airfields set up in World War II, or lands which are now within civic areas and serve little military purpose. Another chunk of surplus lands could be with Ordnance factories.  

The MoD is thinking of identifying two categories of vacant lands, which are ‘Class A-2′ and ‘Class B-4′. The Cantonment Land Administration Rules, 1937, have bench-marked all lands as per their intended use of the land, its location, and future expansions.  

The letter stems from the MoD decision to take action on the recommendations of the Sumit Bose Committee constituted for study on optimum use of defence land and to regulate its commercial exploitation. The MoD letter sent on May 6 says it has been decided to implement a section of recommendations of the Bose committee concerning vacant lands and optimal utilisation of defence land. 

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