Bihar yet to provide land for ex-servicemen’s housing scheme

PATNA: Bihar is the second state after Uttar Pradesh known for its contribution to the armed forces from the recruitment ratio point of view. However, welfare schemes for Army personnel is still a far cry in Bihar, said All India Ex-Services League former vice-president Col (retd) V K Singh.

Singh said while all other states have provided land to Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO) to develop housing colony for defence personnel, Bihar is the only state which is lagging behind others in this regard. “As a result, most of the Army officials prefer to settle in other states after their retirement,” he said, adding that about 1,000 retired army officials have so far settled outside the state.

Singh said at least 10 acres of land is required for Patna and Gaya each to build housing colony for the retired army officials while land under the ‘Jawan Awas Yojna’ scheme is needed at Ara, Chhapra, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur to build houses for the JCO and jawans on priority basis, he said.

He said Bihar government had assured a delegation of the Army officials to take steps to hand over land to AWHO during the last civil-military liaison meeting held here, but to no avail. About 11.5% of the armed forces below the rank of officers is from Bihar. “Unfortunately, the posts of Zila Kalyan Adhikari have been lying vacant in Bihar as none of the senior rank retired Army officers who have settled outside, are willing to serve the posts,” he said adding several posts of the Army polyclinics are also lying vacant in Bihar.

Under the new Army policy, AWHO would build defence colony on the land given by the state government. The colony will have facilities like CSD canteen, club, nursery school, parks, walking paths, garden, shops and other amenities on the pattern of defence colony in Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Shimla and Goa.

He said Indian Army is the fourth in the world in terms of numbers of military personnel. However, Bihar has virtually no Army station from military presence point of view while UP has 10 Army stations followed by 7 in West Bengal and 3 in Jharkhand. Bihar urgently needs Army stations or mini cantonments at Ara, Gaya, Motihari, Chhapra and Bhagalpur to take up welfare work of ex-servicemen, he said.

Credits ET Realty

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