Dateline Mussoorie: Landour Cantonment, Mussoorie more than a mile high in the sky, is one amongst the sixty-two cantonments in the country. Today it stands on the edge of celebration mode as three of its properties, whose licenses had lapsed and were up for renewal, have now been licensed out for astronomical figures.
It all started when the then Commandant Captain Young, pleaded with the Directors of the East India Company to start a Convalescent Depot in Sister’s Bazaar because “Height was Health.” Even today, the Cantonment is unlike any other, in the sense, you are here in the picturesque and that precisely what draws tourists hordes up here, giving it much to celebrate about.
While Ivy Cafe at Chardukan was auctioned at a whooping ten lakh per month, Childer’s Shop went for two lakh, two thousand per month, for five years. On the other hand, the Circular road car parking was auctioned at thirty-six thousand for a year.
Within a month of being put out in the market, the three cantonment-funded properties had forty bidders, out of which only eleven bidders made it to the final round with all the required papers in place. A legal consultant, a technical team and a Chartered Accountant scrutinised the papers required for the license that included five-lakh deposit, character certificate, Solvency certificate, non-defaulter affidavit, amongst other papers.
The entire process, from tenders being floated for the license to the bidding process was kept open for public scrutiny.
Chief Executive Officer, Abhishekh Rathour IDES updates us, “the bidding amount did not come to us as a surprise. Landour is now an entity on its own. We have three-four more properties which will be put out in the market within a month and we look forward to a similar, upward trend.”
He further added, “ We want the cantonment to be financially-able so that the revenue generated from these cantonment-fund properties can be put to use in making the cantonment better in every sense of the word.”
As Landour Cantonment inches its way to become the country’s Number One Cantonment residents believe, ‘You aint seen anything yet!’