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HYDERABAD: If the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) has its way, the 28-acre Nizam-era trenching ground in Hasmathpet with an acre of land quoted at a staggering ₹4 crore could well be housing Cantonment staffers and workers. Presently, the ground is not in use and the board has sets its eyes on the sprawling area to demarcate 500 plots for the staff of all wings, besides other amenities.

Allotment of plots has been a long-pending demand of SCB staff and workers. “As per the SCB chief executive officer’s instructions, the engineering wing has swung into action to prepare plans. Apart from plots for 500 staff and workers of Cantonment, a commercial complex, a school, a community hall and park and other amenities will come up on the 28-acre land,” a senior official told TOI.

In the last one month, officials have been inspecting the trenching ground and preparing sketches. The area for plots will be allotted equally among the workers and once the plan gets approval from SCB CEO and the southern command, Pune, a clear picture will emerge, said sources.

When contacted, SCB chief planner M Ramulu told TOI: “We have prepared a plan along with sketches for housing, school, commercial complex, community hall and other amenities and submitted to the CEO.” Once the CEO gives his nod, the plan will be forwarded to Director General Defence Estates (DGDE), Delhi, for final approval.

“Housing for employees and workers has remained a dream. We formed a separate housing society and registered names of all employees, including class-C (officers) and class-D (workers), for allotment of plots,” said an SCB union leader, adding that foundation stone for the housing scheme could be laid in six months.

As per the official records, the Nizam gave away the 28-acre land to the British Army to use it as a trenching ground. Later, the land was handed over to the Cantonment in 1937 and since then, it is being maintained by SCB. It comes under class ‘C’ (Cantonment) land and SCB protects it from land sharks by constructing a compound wall. Till six years ago, the SCB authorities kept it vacant and later, used the open area as a garbage transit point by dumping garbage collected from civil and military areas.

However, in the last three years, SCB has stopped dumping the garbage after residential colonies emerged close to the trenching ground. They had approached the Telangana State Pollution Control Board and lodged a complaint against SCB that they were not able to stay in the colonies due to unbearable stink and dog menace. TSPCB served notices on SCB, asking it to stop dumping garbage in that area. Since then, garbage dumping has been shifted to Mahatma Gandhi community hall in Trimulgherry.

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