Reopen Secunderabad Cantonment’s closed roads, KTR urges Rajnath

Hyderabad, Aug 16 : Telangana’s Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K.T. Rama Rao has sought the intervention of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for re-opening of the roads closed in the Secunderabad Cantonment area.

In a letter to Rajnath Singh, the minister appealed to him for removal of unauthorised roadblocks in the Cantonment area.

“I feel compelled to bring to your kind notice about the plight of more than couple of million citizens living in North & North-Eastern parts of Hyderabad, the State Capital, on account of frequent road blockades and often without any justifiable reasons by the Local Military Authorities of the Secunderabad Cantonment area,” wrote KTR, as the minister is popularly known.

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He urged Rajnath Singh to intervene and to instruct the local authorities not to indulge in such closures of roads without following the standard SOP and without having the necessary authorisation from the authorities concerned in respect of all the roads in Secunderabad Cantonment.

The minister also stated that the local military authorities resort to regulate the traffic at their will on certain roads, which are otherwise the “lifeline” to these parts of the city, being the only connecting road, causing untold misery and hardship to the local citizens.

Frequent and mostly sudden and unannounced closure of these important roads such as AOC Road and, Gough Road on previous occasions has resulted in widespread resentment among the citizens.

Taking cognizance of these genuine concerns of the citizens, the Ministry of Defence had issued a “Standard Protocol” to be followed by the local military authorities in initiating the process for closing of roads in accordance with the provisions of the Cantonment Act, 2006, duly factoring in the “emergent security needs” of the army.

KTR mentioned in the letter that the local authorities of the Secunderabad Cantonment, prima facie, without following the SOP, had shut down four important roads – Allahabad Gate, Gough Road, Wellington Road and Ordinance Road for 10 days in July citing a surge in Covid-19 cases in the city.

Lakhs of commuters from localities like Yapral, Kowkur, Bollarum, and Trimulgherry using the roads either to go to work places or residences have faced much hardship, he said.

“It was illogical to try to stop the spread of the pandemic by closing public roads. Residents had been forced to take long detours at a time when public transport is not available. One can also imagine the tremendous tragedies that can occur during medical emergencies if such road blockades are allowed. The irony is that such a block is initiated unilaterally without following the established procedure and disregarding the public interest. This has simply aggravated the discomfort of the citizens during the period of pandemic,” reads the letter.

There are about 25 public roads in the Secunderabad Cantonment Area, which are prone to such arbitrary closures for traffic, he said, pointing out that these roads were admittedly open to public since their inception, some of which are of more than 100 years of existence.

Most of these roads lie in a narrow strip of land which extends approximately 10 km in the north-south direction along the arterial Rajiv Rahadari Highway. Closure of these roads would cut-off north-eastern areas of the city from this artery, which is their main access to the rest of the city, he said, adding that over 10 lakh citizens are affected on a daily basis.

“Historically these roads were used by farmers from villages in the eastern areas of Nagaram, Kapra, etc to access markets to dispose their produce such as Risala Bazar, Bolarum Bazar, Pioneer Bazar, Doveton Bazar, Lal Bazar, etc – all of which are located on the western side of the Cantonment,” he added.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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