The Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) which is a readying itself for the 200 years of its existence is home to Headquarters , Southern Command, the largest command of the Indian Army and the seat of military power in the country. Since its formation in 1817, the cantonment area has registered an impressive growth, is a true representative of the cosmopolitan ethos of Pune City and is taking commendable steps in the direction of its mission statement of becoming a Smart Cantonment.HistoryEstablished in 1817 for accommodation of military troops, the cantonment area grew in size and strength accommodating fresh troops, regiments, battalions, including cavalry which gradually settled in the area later. In 1819, the limits of Pune cantonment were fixed. A large number of civilians made it their home and were encouraged to do so to provide amenities to officers, soldiers and retainers of the army and military stations. The official history of the Pune Cantonment Board states that besides accommodation needed for military officers, the civilians invested their capital in building bungalows and houses. In 1822, the area further expanded to include other areas and the boundaries of Pune cantonment were finally drawn in 1827.LocationThe Pune cantonment is located in the eastern region of the city and is spread over an area of 4.24 square miles. It is a rectangular plot of land about 2.72 miles of north to south and varying from 1.36 miles to 1.62 miles from east to west.AttributesOver time, the Pune cantonment became one of strongest military stations of the British in the Indian peninsula and, with the establishment of a local self-government of cantonment alongside the Pune City Corporation (PMC), a dual identity was forged based on the combination of tradition and modernity. As of today, the cantonment is merged with the city but yet has preserved an identity of its own and defines its own civilian-military character.Vision and MissionThe exigencies of changing times have substantially broadened the range of functions to be performed by all local bodies and Pune cantonment is no exception. According to the board administration, the vision for next millennium is to transform cantonment into a model cantonment based on citizen focused infrastructure and creation of a green thumb in the urban space by providing sustainable and upgraded amenities and facilities to the cantonment residents.ChallengesThe Pune Cantonment Board is facing severe financial constraints due to the abolition of octroi and non-implementation of local body tax (LBT). The Board which is under conservancy agreement has been rendering civic services to bungalow areas for which allocation is done to the board through these service charges. The charges are not being allotted on time and at present the board is facing a serious problem related to outstanding service charges to the tune of ₹5.40 crores. Illegal constructions, hawkers menace, traffic congestions, conversion of parking space into commercial hubs, selective action against hawkers by Nuisance Prevention Squad (NPS), unprofessionalism in discharging administrative duties and rising corruption are some of the major challenges before the PCB.