Defence Minister Rajnath Singh talking to reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.   Photo/ANI
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh talking to reporters in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo/ANI

Rajnath urges Cantonment Boards to be gentle to poor living in their premises

ANI | Updated: Dec 26, 2019 18:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 26 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday called upon the Cantonment Boards to be gentle to the poor living within their premises, saying that they should not fear officials, and instead, feel protected by them.
Addressing a gathering after giving away Raksha Mantri's Awards for Excellence 2019 in Delhi Cantonment here, the Defence Minister reiterated his government's commitment to providing high-quality education and low-cost health to the poor sections of society.
According to an official release, he said that residents of cantonment areas, especially civilians with low income, were being provided improved medical and health care and hoped these services will continue to expand.
Noting that the goal of Defence Estate organisation is to secure important land-related interests of the armed forces and to cater to the needs of the citizens of the cantonment area, he suggested that officials should brainstorm periodically to improve already well-maintained properties.
"It is said that building an organisation, commanding respect and earning property is difficult. However, more difficult it is to maintain these," Singh said.
He added that the Directorate General of Defence Estates was managing defence land with an area of more than 17 lakh acres, catering to the land requirements of the three wings of the Armed Forces and providing civil and municipal services to over 20 lakh residents of 62 cantonment areas of the country.
He said the Cantonment Councils have carried out various important tasks under "Digital India" programme.
"Public services have been made faster, efficient and accessible to people. An app has been created through which various services are being made available to the people whose complaints will reach the concerned officers in a time-bound manner," he said.
The minister said that he receives many requests on organising traditional, social and cultural functions on defence land and there is a need to examine appropriate rules so that such requests can be considered positively.
He commended the role of cantonments in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and making cantonment areas Open Defecation Free.
The Defence Estates awards were introduced in 2013 to recognise the achievements in the field of health, education, cleanliness as well as new innovative and digitisation in public services and land management.
Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Secretary, Defence Finance, Gargi Kaul, Director General Defence Estates Deepa Bajwa and other senior military and civil officials of the Ministry of Defence were among those present on the occasion. (ANI)