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Monday, August 24, 2009


“The way to procure insults is to submit to them: a man meets with no more respect than he exacts” : William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

What can I say about this ?

How often do we hear this thing today about military izzat that is on constant decline on the societal ladder ? And our veterans and serving members alike are quick to point the finger at the bureaucracy. But what about the issues that are directly under our control ?

The world is moving towards an era of transparency, the end of license raaj, RTI, simplification of procedures et al. But still we ourselves ensure at times that we live in an age of regressive approach. Or else why would we let others put into motion such a cumbersome procedure wherein in order to buy cars from CSD serving and retired defence personnel are made to undertake numerous rounds of Agencies, Depot Managers, and, this takes the cake - even tax barriers and excise staff !!!

‘The Tribune’, Chandigarh reports how officers, besides dealing with other documentary red-tapism, have to ‘report’ to the CSD Depot Manager in Ambala Cantt alongwith a representative of the Agency to get their vehicles ‘inspected’. This inspection is also refused unless there are a certain number of cars available on a particular day. Moreover even the days are set when the ‘Manager’ would oblige serving and retired military officers with the ‘inspection’. The Depot Manager then issues a slip which the officers have to carry to the excise staff manning excise barriers for obtaining a stamp on it. To put it shortly, the entire procedure is not only time-consuming and unwieldy but also utterly disgusting, retrograde and humiliating.

Since institutions such as the CSD exist for our welfare, I would request officers posted at Delhi to kindly apprise the concerned section at the AG’s/QMG’s branch about what is happening on ground and to simplify the procedure, and also, if I may put it crudely, immediately stop this nonsense. ‘Adelphi’, Mumbai also needs to be taken in the loop. I’m sure the CSD staff (like always) would come up with a hundred justifications and excuses on this retrograde approach, but please do not buy such explanations !!! The Canteen Stores Department is meant to render services to fauj, not the other way around.

Following is a reproduction of what appeared in the newspaper :

The Tribune
Car through CSD : new system raises officers’ hackles

Our Correspondent
Ambala, August 20

Over 30 serving and retired officers of the Army showed resentment against the recently introduced system for purchasing car through CSD at the CSD depot in Ambala Cantt here.

Earlier, the Army officers had to deposit the amount of the vehicle to be purchased with the CSD depot in Ambala Cantt and the depot issued them the release order. After submitting the release order with the car dealer, the officers got the delivery of the vehicle. As per the new system, after getting the delivery of the vehicle, the army officers will have to report to the depot manger along with the vehicle and a representative of the dealer.

After checking the documents, engine number and chassis number of the vehicle, the depot will issue them a sale deed document and then only the officers will be allowed to drive their car. The Army officers have to face a lot of harassment while completing the formalities of the newly introduced system.

Most of the Army officers, even from Haryana, prefer to purchase vehicles from Chandigarh as the rate of sales tax is 2 per cent less there than in Haryana. Chandigarh does not have any CSD depot that is why the Army officers belonging to Chandigarh generally come to the Ambala CSD depot for purchasing vehicle through the CSD.

Around 35 retired and serving Army officers, including a serving Major from Kargil, went to Chandigarh yesterday to purchase vehicles after getting the release order from the CSD depot, Ambala. The depot issued them a “Rahdari” slip, which they have to get stamped from the sales tax barriers at Dappar (Punjab) and Dhulkot (Haryana).

Col Jaswant Singh (retd), a resident of Chandigarh, said the officials of sales tax barriers detained them for two hours and refused to put stamp on “Rahdari” paper. They had to further stay in the CSD depot for hours to complete the formalities. He said the situation was very humiliating for an Army officer. Other Army officers also expressed annoyance over the new system.

Meanwhile, regional manager of the depot Lakhwinder Singh refused to comment on the matter. According to information, the depot has been facing an acute shortage of officials, which led to delay in the completion of formalities.


Unknown said...

dear sir,
this is the now set routine in all facets of army life.we place officials who create new rules according to their whims and fancies and increase the paperwork and runaround thus creating a feeling of self importance.
why is the stn cdr not asking questions.was the adm comdt not in the loop or did the csd staff change the rule without asking anyone.
soon there will be a case taken up for csd services and these also would link their parity with army rks and start acting like bigger bosses.
it is the responsibility of sr offrs to be proactive and get down to making things simpler and transparent as it has to be a topdown approach.

Ramani said...

Yes!! It is high time this sort of nonsense is stopped.This is the reason many officers(including me ) purchase outside rather than go through the hassels of filling up forms, get stn hq counterignature, then submit bank draft to the CSD Depot concerned and then take the voucher and go to the concerned dealer and get your item. Even the dealer is indifferent because his commission is limited.
I think the entire CSD activities should be Militarised.At least then you can shop with respect.
Or Rather Dismantle the entire setup and give a monetary incentive like a (CSD) .allowance.
It is pity that our top brass ( who also ae affectd)let these sort of stupid rules take effect.

Anonymous said...

This is high time we should make the consumer of CSD items ( The Army Pers) comfortable not other way round .Why should any one go to a depot at all? Why cannot we deposit the forms at the dependent /Unit CSD along with money and save lot of Hassles? Eligibility criteria can be checked thru Smart Card.If CSD Depot wants its share in profit, it can be taken from unit CSD.

Anonymous said...

When almost everyone has a smart card why can't we do away with these filling up of forms, getting it countersigned, then running to a bank to get the draft made.Why can't you simply walk into the canteen ,pay through credit card ,debit card or cash whatever suits you ,get a receipt for the same and then collect it from the dealer.The smart card is good enough to establish your entitlement & also keep a record of your past purchases.

saran said...

wow! why do i feel like bashing up someone? or is it that some of u also feel like that. When it comes to participation in polity, it is advised by our bosses, their bosses and their super bosses , that the army needs to be insulated from the happenings in the civil society and certain amount of seclusion is required. Arey yaar, hamein kuch nahi chahiye...we dont wanna participate in anything civil...happy? but , it aint a one way traffic! why on mother earth am i required to go to a tax barrier and sundry such places. in fact, iam so frustrated that i would recommend that we should do away with all this CSD stuff....and just surrender the damn so-called 'facility'. as it is, most of the CSDs, apart from the onez at larger HQs are nothing to write home about and the only major item which we would buy, with a reasonable difference monetarily is a car. Arey ....jyada pay kar lenge yaar...or else we better buy a smaller car. Bas karo yaar tamasha!

Anonymous said...

While it being So at Ambala, the problem at Chennai Depot is bit different. The Depot apparently has not released money in time to most of the car and bike dealers. Consequence is that the dealers concerned are hesitant to accept CSD supply Orders. Their concern is genuine. Why is there no accountability or time limit from the time of submission of proof of delivery of car/bike for the CSD Depot to release money to the dealers? Or is because dealers “don’t look after enough” the people at depot. Would you kindly take up with ADG canteen services at QMG branch to look into this problem as well.Depot to rlaese money to the dealers

Anonymous said...

Ever tried talking to the CSD Manager at Ambala on Phone? he is never available!So his smart PA gets to throw his wt around if you ever try speaking to Manager Saab..
Whats more? , the dealers too have to grease their way to get payments in time from our accounts branch at CSD...i have seen this on file, where in a dealer showed me how for the Rs385600 cost of car paid by me in form of a draft to CSD ,the amount credited in his account was Rs 2000 less!! for every car he sold..
But yeh india hai sab Chalta hai...

Unknown said...

Dear Sir,
It is really heartning which is happening in Ambala CSD Depot,however, things are systematic and hassle free if you deposit your draft in CSD depot Jalandhar and get delivery of ur vehicle at Chandigarh.There is no need to go back to CSD depot after taking delivery of ur vehicle. All needful is being done by dealer without any addl cost. The example given here is related to the veh delivery taken at Lally Motors Ind Area Chandigarh. Why this arrangement can not be followed at Ambala? Will Power & know how of Depot Manager.......................?

Yogander Singh said...

The point is bigger. The fact of matter is that Top Brass of IA seems to be consistently failing in safe guarding organisational and individual interests of Armymen. Just a few examples.
(a) Attitude of Ambala CSD has already been well covered.
(b) GL Section Type `B' are affiliated to AF Wings, these sections are commanded by Colonels (SG) with 25 year or more service whose CRs are written by AF Station Commander who functionally places them under command COO ( a junior Group Captain) Army Brass has never objected to it. While the Group Captain from the AF commanding Tactical Air Centres (TAC) affiliated to Army formations remains totally under the AF.
(c) Rather than develop in-house expertise for CI/CT, the Top Brass is happy denuding Army Units of juoir officers to fill up NSG and other sundry PMF. All for a few vacancies for the colonel and above.
(d) Army officers of Major rank on deputation with civilian organisations have had their CRs initiated by Deputy Secretary equivalents.
(e) Visit any Army establishment and see the pathatic condition of offices of Major/Lt Col rank officers. Pathetic is the word which comes nearest to describing these offices.

synapse said...

@ Anonymous at 7:11PM

...Would you kindly take up with ADG canteen services at QMG branch to look into this problem as well...

I have often come across people in this blog requesting someone(???) to take up a case for which they feel strongly about. I wonder why don't they do it themselves! Who stops them?

Anonymous said...

dear sir,you have again brought out an issue which is probably spinning out of our control.The latest techniques being employed are as under:-
The items listed in csd are told to be not available by the dealer.he gives you the option to buy a model available in market at some discount against the release order against the available item.the profit goes to dealers and -- pocket.

second technique is the price fixation.you find very low price differnce in csd and open market. a case in point is the ac.the acs in delhi are cheaper in market,that too when csd is not charging vat and min profit.k wish some one can throw light on this so as to how the differnce in market and csd is so less in afd items in most of the places

Rajababu said...

The major crux of this simple issue is the Area Manager. Just transfer him out or issue s show cause notice and initiate disciplinary action. things will be set right. By the way the managers follow the rules we only set. So it our own internal problem to be adressed. so guys dont crib and raise ur BPs. instead take it up with ur superiors.

Anonymous said...

Is not the Adelphi headed by a service general /admiral/ air marshal? And dont we have a brigadier in IHQ looking after the CSD affairs. I am certain this procedure has been happily ratified by these comrades at arms. When it comes to humilating our brother officers no one can beat the faujis. Not the CSD staff but these very brother officers will come out with 'completed staff work' like justifications for this structured humiliation of their own class. Clout of the CSD officers on the stn cdrs has to be seen to believed. In stns where the officers were kicked out of the cantnements siting lack of accomodation . many stn cdrs did not have the guts to ask the CSD officers to vacate the def officers accn alloted to them. So they can show their powers on the hapless and obidient brother officers only and are in dread of the others

Anonymous said...

The quotation appended is inapt. Hindi transalation shall amplify my proposition. Exact(ion) and deserve(ation) are antonym. The latter is the hallmark - even in circimstances posed. Trust me the situation has arisen due to..........the dissenters know it all! Let's not go overboard. The social-economical changes compel such actions. Interact with OIC CSDs wherein PBORs proxy purchase high end saloons and SUVs. Ghun to pisse gahi.

Raghubir said...

One can never be insulted more than one decides to lump.We ourselves are to blame for lowering our esteem at times for small benefits or in order to maintain one sided good relations.

Best course of action should be to employ only retired service people in the CSD's. In the meantime effort be made to further streamline the CSD services/facilities centrally. VAT needs to be removed for all over the country. Car should cost same in Punjab & Maharashtra through CSD. Same should be true for liqour.

Anonymous said...

can i request someone to throw light on pricing mechanism of firm demand items like tv/fridges etc and why there is no difference in market and csd prices in some places like delhi,the ac costs more in csd than market,where as csd doesnt have too much profit like private vendors

Anonymous said...

hey navdeep hats off to your enery levels..
how do you manage all this??

Naren said...

As suggested by him,we should aim at having a uniform CSD rate,then all the hassles of ordering cars from the cheapest CSD depot will vanish.
Also as a resettlement measure the Fauji Brass should ensure that only retired Faujis are allowed to man all CSD Units.
Already a lot of big supply chains in Metros are beating the CSD canteens on pricing,quality etc with their heavy discounts and daily offers for e.g. Big Bazar chain in Delhi.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


balraj rathee said...

The area manager ambala cantt is harassing the defence personnel by framing his own policies. I had to file two writ petition CWP NO. 4106 of 2010 & CWP No. 6885 of 2010 and an complaint in the district forum Chandigarh against the area manager which are now fixed for heaing on 27 May 2010 & 24 May 2010 and asked the compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/- from the area manager. He being a senior officer have no manners. Even complaint had been sent to defence minister & other high officials that how he is harassing the customer & dealers for not paying their money in time.Timely action by the higher authorities is awaited.

sl said...
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sl said...
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sl said...

The woes, of serving and retired personnel resident at Chandigarh, continue with no relief in sight.
Readers of the Blog can try this link http://www.indianexpress.com/comments/ambala-csd-depot-refuses-to-accept-authorisation-letters-for-purchase-of-cars/569129/

sl said...

As if man made difficulties were not enough, now the weather gods have added to the misery http://sunlit8c.blogspot.com/2010/07/at-csd-depot-ambala-cantt.html

sl said...

At last a true leader has emerged to seek a legal remedy to this situation. We should all stand up and applaud.

VIKAS BALI said...

Anything latest on car sale thru CSD whther it has opened or not?

VIKAS BALI said...

There are rumours that sale of cars through CSD has opned ..Can anyone kindly confirm about this.. ?? waiting to buy a car..