The central government establishes Cantonment Boards under the Provisions of Cantonment Act, 2006. They work under the Defense ministry of the central government. It is a civic administration body established for the provision of municipal administration to the civilian population in cantonment areas (places where army troops are permanently stationed).
A Cantonment Board consists of 8 elected members. Of these, a total of 3 are nominated military members, 3 are ex-officio members, and one is representative of the district magistrate. The military officer commands that particular station as its ex-officio President. The President of India is responsible for appointing the Executive Officer of the Cantonment Board. A Cantonment Board member holds office for a total of 5 years.
There are 64 Cantonment Boards in India. Cantonments are divided into four categories:
- Category I – population exceeds fifty thousand
- Category II – population exceeds ten thousand, but does not exceed fifty thousand
- Category III – population exceeds two thousand five hundred, but does not exceed ten thousand
- Category IV – population does not exceed two thousand five hundred.