KATHMANDU, March 7: The PLA is likely to begin vacating 13 cantonments from March 8 as per the decision of the Special Committee to bring down the number of cantonments by half.
"We will leave the cantonments beginning March 8 or 9," said Kamala Naharki, commander of Krishna Sen Memorial Brigade, Sainamaina, adding that her brigade is being merged with the PLA fourth division headquarters in Jhyaltungdanda, Nawalparasi.
The Special Committee had decided to reduce the number of cantonments following the release of 7,000-plus combatants who opted for voluntary retirement.
According to PLA commanders, the 13 cantonments will be merged into the rest 15 cantonments. Over 16,000 combatants had been living in the cantonments since 2007 following verification by UNMIN.
The staffers of the Special Committee secretariat will visit the cantonments for the purpose Tuesday. The Special Committee had decided to close the cantonments by March 10.
The vacated cantonments will be guarded by security forces (Nepal Army or Armed Police Force) posted in camps nearest to the cantonments concerned.
PLA First Division Commander Yam Bahadur Adhikari said the merger of cantonments will complete by March 10.
Special Committee secretariat member Kul Prasad KC said they will leave the capital Tuesday for the merger.
The weapons containers will be transferred to the cantonments that will be operated until the integration process is over.
"The emptied cantonments will be guarded by the security forces until the government formally decided about their fate," said KC.
The Second Divison Commander Suk Bahadur Roka Magar complained that the secretariat members have not cooperated with them for the merger process.
"They have not yet talked to us in detail. We are not sure what types of goods we can take away. There are many things we need. We have not yet quit the cantonment life; we are just being transferred," added Roka Magar.
According to him, Khayarmara cantonment will be guarded by the APF and Ranibas cantonment by the NA.
Danabri and Yangshila cantonments of the First Division will be merged with the divisional headquarters in Chulachuli and satellite camp of Tandi.
Ranibari and Khayarmara cantonments of the Second Division will be merged with the division headquarters in Dudhauli and its satellite camp at Belsot.
Chainpur Bhutiyaha and Rasuli cantonments of the Third Division will be merged with the division headquarters in Shaktikhor and satellite camp in Gairabari.
Sainamaina and Jargha cantonments of the Fourth Division will be merged with the divisional headquarters at Jhyaltungdanda and its satellite camp in Hattikhor.
Tila and Sakram cantonments of the Fifth Division will be merged with the divisional headquarters at Dahaban and its satellite camp in Ungha.
Kalyan and Lekpharsha cantonments of the Sixth Division will be merged with the divisional headquarters at Dasharathpur and and its satellite camp in Gumi.
Sahajpur cantonment of the Seventh Division will be merged with its headquarters at Talband.
from Republica English Daily Newspaper