New Delhi: Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh called upon Cantonment Boards to be gentle to the poor living within their premises saying they should not fear officials instead feel protected by them. He was addressing a gathering after giving away Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence 2019 in Delhi Cantonment here today.
Raksha Mantri also reiterated the Government’s commitment to provide high quality education and low-cost health to the poor sections of society. He appreciated that the residents of cantonment areas, especially civilians with low income, are being provided improved medical and health care. He hoped that these services will continue to expand and improve, catering to the needs of the people.
Appreciating Directorate General of Defence Estates, Shri Rajnath Singh told the gathering, “It is said that building organisation, commanding respect and earning property are difficult, however, more difficult it is to maintain these. Your department is doing the important work of 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.”
Raksha Mantri appreciated the efforts being made by the department saying, “The goal of Defense Estate Organisation is to secure important land related interests of the Armed Forces and to cater to the needs/aspirations of the citizens of the cantonment area.” He suggested that officials should brainstorm periodically to improve the already well-maintained properties.
Shri Rajnath Singh highlighted that the Cantonment Councils carried out various important tasks under the “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.
Raksha Mantri mentioned that he receives many requests related to organising traditional, social and cultural functions on defence land. He said there is a need to examine appropriate rules so that such requests can be considered positively.
Shri Rajnath Singh especially commended the role of cantonments in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and making cantonment areas Open Defecation Free. He recalled his participation of an event in Delhi Cantt on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, 2019.
The Defence Estates awards was 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.