After this column called for the shifting of kingdom capitals as a manner to create new cities and large employers, some of the humans requested if that is the most effective way for the government to provide a preliminary Maison d’être for brand new towns. Well, there is another accurate one—developing new army bases.

India can create over 30 million new jobs in the quick- and medium-time period by means of creating 20 new army bases over the next 15 years.

Remember, the specified run fee to keep away from social turmoil is 20 million jobs in keeping with year, manner higher than the modern-day run charge of a million or a year. New military bases can shape the nucleus (or the catalyst) for new cities, imparting excessive pleasant living, schooling and working situations for the military community. These in turn will create a growing spiral of economic hobby that could create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

There is a preferred influence that our defense force have superior dwelling situations, with “palatial homes”, golfing clubs and similar luxuries. The reality is extra prosaic, with housing shortages, homes too antique to be maintained properly, need for higher colleges and employment opportunities for spouses. While military modernization itself is on top of the coverage agenda, the modernization of the locations wherein our troops stay, teach and perform out of gets nearly no interest. We need to raise living requirements, offer an awful lot higher infrastructure and contemporary facilities to the families of each officials and the rank and report.

But where’s the cash for all this? Well, under the floor.

A few years in the past, my colleagues Pranay Kotasthane and Varun Ramachandra estimated that the cost of land that the military owns in Bengaluru city is within the range of ₹three trillion. The value of defence land in five massive cities is upwards of ₹15 trillion, or 7.5% of gross home product (GDP). Cantonments and defence land holdings in the next 15 biggest tier-II towns amount to any other ₹15 trillion.

Equivalent land 40-100km faraway from the city could be available at a fraction of the value, permitting the surplus to be used for infrastructure improvement, housing and defence facilities.

So moving components of old cantonments to new websites can, in a unmarried pass, deal with many policy demanding situations: create new towns, offer the armed forces with present day facilities and create mass employment without including to the nation’s monetary burden.


To balance the interests of the Union and states, the latter ought to purchase land from the defence ministry in existing cities within the first transaction. The defence ministry may want to then purchase equal land, perhaps large in size, out of doors the constructed-up regions of cities from the state authorities in the 2d transaction. State governments should expand the land received inside the town centres for city redevelopment, relieving congestion and constructing sustainable neighbourhoods.

Back-of-the-envelope estimates advise that for each new navy base or cantonment, among 100,000 to 1 million jobs can be created inside the production and infrastructure zone within the brief- and medium-term. Further, redevelopment of present metropolis centres will itself account for 200,000-500,000 new construction jobs in each place inside the quick-time period. Additional excessive-fee jobs will be created in those areas given the economic potential of town centres. Around 7.5 million new construction and infrastructure industry jobs can as a result be created if India were to provoke five such tasks.

Over time, the military bases will germinate into new urban centres with populations of one-five million that can act as engines of economic and job growth for the destiny.

Without doubt the demanding situations of doing some thing of this nature are many and complicated. Cooperative federalism has to perform at a huge scale, the armed forces must be persuaded to part with land that has been of their ownership on the grounds that earlier than India’s independence, the environmental impact should be mitigated, agricultural land acquisition ought to be looked after out and finally, city actual property mafias should be stored in check.

Of those, the most critical attention is the opinion of the defense force, from both the military preparedness and exceptional-of-life perspectives. The militia’ reluctance to element with land under their manage is understandable, although it is frustrating to many municipalities and state governments. This is so because negotiations for alternate of land take place in the absence of a broader imaginative and prescient. It is the articulation of a win-win-win proposition for all of the stakeholders worried this is the name of the game sauce on this recipe.