There are 62 Cantonments in the country which have been notified under the Cantonments Act, succeeded by the Cantonments Act, The overall municipal administration of the notified Cantonments is the function of the Cantonment Boards which are democratic bodies. This unique structure of Cantonment Boards is being maintained successfully keeping in view the fact that the Cantonment areas were and are primarily meant to accommodate the military population and their installations. Cantonments are different from the Military Stations in that the Military Stations are purely meant for the use and accommodation of the armed forces and these are established under an executive order whereas the Cantonments are areas which comprise of both military and civil population. There are four categories of Cantonments which depend on the size of population residing inside a Cantonment.
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The cantonments are found in different nations including India. In India the cantonments stretch over the northern, western and eastern regions which are renewed and enlarged with modern facilities of warfare, training equipments etc. The Parliament has enacted The Cantonments Act, on September 13, to administer and manage cantonments for the purpose of conveying better democratization and to maintain financial stability for the progression of the cantonments.
The Central Government shall affirm any areas with borders as cantonment where the quarters of the force is situated by notifying in the Gazette of India. Likewise, it shall also announce a cantonment shall be closed down or prescribe the confines of such cantonment by notification.
Where an area is decided to be a cantonment, the Central government shall establish a Board as provided under the Act. Until the Board is established the functions of the Board shall be performed by the Central government. The Central government can include or exclude any local area near to the cantonment after consultation with the State Government or the concerned Board. The occupant of a cantonment or the near area shall approach the Central government and submit a written objection to the General Officer Commander-in-Chief before the expiry of eight weeks from the publication of the notification and the Central Government shall consider the objection filed by such person.
Where an area is incorporated in to the cantonment, such an area shall come under the purview of this Act and all other legislation dealing with the cantonment including the rules, order, notifications, regulations etc.
The Central Government is also empowered to exempt any part of the cantonment from the purview of the Act for the purposes provided under the Act. In addition, the Act grants for the establishment of Cantonment Board which shall be considered as a municipality according to Article P e of the Constitution of India.
While acting as the municipality, the Board shall have power to collect funds and allocations and execute the policies and schemes of the Union relating to social wellbeing, public health, cleanliness, supply of water, education, security etc. The cantonments are categorized into four separate types according to the ratio of the population.
The Central Government is also bestowed authority to vary the cantonment board due to military operations or for the effective administration of the Board.
The Board shall consist of President and Vice President to perform the functions and responsibilities provided under the Act. Each cantonment shall have a Chief Executive Officer who is appointed by the Central government. The members of the Board shall be elected through an electoral roll and the rules for the proper conduct of the elections shall be formulated by the Central Government but in consonance with the provisions of the Act.
The Board shall take a combined action with the local bodies to select and appoint a Chairman for the joint committee. The Board is entrusted with the following duties: Lighting the road, lanes and public places; Provide water for the public; Cleaning the roads and lanes, drainage, get rid of harmful vegetation etc; Control trade and commerce that are hazardous or offensive; Remove undesirable impediments or hindrances and projections on the road; Provide security to unsafe buildings; Planting trees in the roadsides and the streets; Supply sufficient drinking water and prevent water pollution; Registration of birth and death; Impose property tax or trade tax; Form cantonment fund and cantonment development fund etc.
The Act provides for the constitution of sanitation authorities to discharge the functions for sanitation, maintenance of sanitation in the areas of cantonment. There shall be a health officer to advice the Board on matters related with sanitation. The Board is empowered to formulate bye-laws for the matters connected with the cantonment. Moreover, the Act also empowers the Board for the establishment of Committee of Arbitration.
Additionally, the Parliament has also enacted The Cantonments Extension of Rent Control Laws Act, to control the rent for accommodation in cantonments which came into force on January 26, and The Cantonments House- Accommodation Act, to determine the accommodation of army officials in the cantonments which came into effect on April 1,
THE CANTONMENTS ACT, 2006
Section44 - Meetings to be public Section45 - Method of deciding questions Section46 - Civil area Section47 - Committees for civil areas Section48 - Power to make regulations Section49 - Joint action with other local authority Section50 - Report on administration Section51 - Power of Central Government to require production of documents Section52 - Inspection Section53 - Power to call for documents Section54 - Power to require execution of work etc. Section55 - Power to provide for enforcement of direction under section 54 Section56 - Power to qverride decision of Board Section57 - Power of Central Government to review Section58 - Power of General Officer Commanding- in chief, the Command, on reference under section 56 or otherwise Section59 - Power of Central Government on a reference made under section 56 Section60 - Supersession of Board Section61 - Validity of proceedings, etc. Chapter IV Section63 - Power to manage property Section64 - Discretionary functions of Board Section65 - Power of expenditure of educational, health and other purposes outside the cantonment Chapter V Section66 - General power of taxation Section67 - Charging of fees Section68 - Norms of property tax Section69 - Framing of preliminary proposals Section70 - Objections and disposal thereof Section71 - Imposition of tax Section72 - Power of Central Government to issue directions to the Board Section73 - Definitation of "annual rateable value" Section74 - Incidence of taxation Section76 - Revision of assessment list Section77 - Authentication of assessment list Section78 - Evidential value of assessment list Section79 - Amendment of assessment list Section80 - Preparation of new assessment list Section81 - Notice of transfers Section82 - Notice of erection of buildings Section83 - Demolition, etc. Section91 - Power to seize etc. Section - Power of Board to undertake private conservancy arrangement Section - Deposits and disposal of rubbish, etc. Section - Cesspools receptacles, for filth, etc. Section - Filling up of tank etc.
Engineering - Unauthorized Constructions