The citizens wrote a similar letter in June to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, after Centre’s order to remove blockages on all Cantonment roads and reopen them to the public.

Citizens write to Defence Min as army defies orders to open Secunderabad Cantt roadsImage: PTI
news Protest Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 13:39

Angered that several roads in Secunderabad's cantonment area are still shut despite orders by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), locals have written to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman complaining that the Local Military Authority (LMA) failed to comply with the orders of the central government. This is the second time that the citizens are writing to Nirmala, after they shot off a similar letter in June, close to a month after the May 21 order by the Centre to remove blockages on all Cantonment roads and reopen them to the public.

In his latest letter, CS Chandrasekhar, Secretary, Federation of North Eastern Colonies of Secunderabad (FNECS), points out that the situation in Secunderabad has already been highlighted in a report submitted by the CEO of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board to the Principal Director (Defence Estates) (Southern Command). “However, no action seems to have been taken, even though almost six months have passed since the CEO submitted his report. We hope that by bringing the matter to your personal notice, immediate action will be taken to rectify this state of affairs,” the letter states.

In the letter, the citizens also pointed out that Byam Road (also called Surender Marg) from Eagle Chowk to BEPTA Golf Course was opened for a few days following the order in May, but closed thereafter. While Burr Road, Richardson Road and Ammuguda Road were blocked off by walls that had been constructed in the past, the citizens also complained that the road from Cantonment Garden to Amherst Road was closed due to the construction of a gate.

Meanwhile, they pointed out that on Yapral Road, Lake Line Ranges Road, Amherst Road, Rajendra Singh Road and Bison Gate, sentries insist on ID checks. The letter also pointed out that the wall under the Rama Krishna Puram flyover blocked the U-turn on the service lane on the extremely busy road.

“For over a century, civilians had been using these roads to commute from one area to another. There is arbitrariness while checking IDs. Sometimes, driving licenses are insisted and at other times, Aadhaar cards are demanded. Sometimes, passers-by are asked to open the boot of the vehicles. Public transport, which had been previously running on some of these roads for decades, has also still not been restored,” the letter stated.

“For this purpose, we request MoD to depute a team to study the factual situation on the ground in the presence of people’s elected representatives, FNECS representatives and also any other civilians affected by the closure of these roads,” the FNECS demanded.  

The closure of roads affected several residents living in adjoining areas such as Marredpally, Neredmet, Safilguda, Sainikpuri, Ammuguda and Yapral, among several others, impacting almost 10 lakh citizens. Citizens have been up in arms as the LMA, over a period of time, shut 25 roads in the area. Some of these included arterial roads that turned even an 800-metre ride into an 8-km detour, which locals allege was done, for a golf course.

“While there is no doubt that there is relief at the opening of some of the roads, the impression is inescapable that there seems to be a deliberate effort to harass passers-by to the extent that they stop using the roads. This reflects poorly on compliance with the law and with the ministry’s orders,” the letter said.


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