Cantonment road in Secunderabad reopens within a day after citizens protest

A board that read “Defence Area. No Thoroughfare”, was removed within a day.
Cantonment road in Secunderabad reopens within a day after citizens protest
Cantonment road in Secunderabad reopens within a day after citizens protest
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Bowing down to public pressure from the residents in Secunderabad's Cantonment area, a road that was allegedly closed down by the Local Military Authority (LMA) without prior notice on Monday, was re-opened on Tuesday.

The Deccan Chronicle reported that Brigadier MD Upadhyay, president, Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB), said that no orders were given for the closure of the road near Bolaram.  

On Monday, along with a board that read “Defence Area No Thoroughfare”, a wooden log was placed right in the middle of the road along with two blue barrels. 

While the LMA claimed that it was a 'unit line' road, which means it would come under its own jurisdiction. However, residents contended that it was a civilian road.  

“If there are Army establishments on either side of a road, it could be termed as a unit line road. But on one side of the Sree Sai theatre road is a civilian road,” S Chandrasekhar from Open Secunderabad Cantonment All Roads (OSCAR) told the Hans India.

Locals said that a jawan was still posted at the spot, even though the barricade had been removed.

After the Cantonment Act of 2006, Secunderabad was classified as a Category 1 cantonment, owing to its large civilian population.

The Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) is a local municipal authority, that comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, and functions as a local self-government.

Half the members on the board are civilians, while the other half are military nominations.

Meanwhile, the LMA is completely under the control of the Ministry of Defence, and civilians have no say over its decisions.

In December 2015, it was alleged by local citizen activists that 10 roads that the LMA had cordoned off citing 'security', were shut for a golf course.

In March this year, after a two-year battle, an RTI reply from the Defence Estate Office (DEO) revealed that only six out of the 12 roads that had been shut in the Golf Course area belonged to the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB).

This conflicted with the SCB's own admission in the Hyderabad High Court, that all the roads being shut, were A1 defence land, under the control of the LMA.

With the move, the army had effectively shut off access to civilians from several acres of land. 

Several thousand residents were affected, including in one instance, where an 800-metre ride, turned into an 8-km ride.

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