The Telangana government has requested the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to extend the deadline for the closure for Gough Road in Secunderabad yet again.
This came after the Local Military Authority (LMA) reiterated the stand of Minister of State for Defence, Subash Bhamre, who had told the Rajya Sabha that the Cantonment roads will be closed from May 30, 2018, as per the deadline announced earlier.
Telangana Chief Secetary SK Joshi on Saturday said that a committee which was set up in April to study the issue had submitted five proposals for laying roads and elevated corridors, to serve as alternative roads, if Gough Road is shut.
Joshi also held a meeting on the same issue with officials of the LMA, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) apart from officials of the Roads and Buildings (R&B), Revenue and Municipal departments.
As of now, the main point of contention is the exchange of land and the compensation for it. While the state government is willing to pay a few hundred crore to the LMA for the land where the alternative roads will come up and offer some extra land away from the city as compensation, Army officials insist on a higher compensation amount for giving up the land.
The issue of road closure has been a long-standing one between civilians and the Army. In 2015, the Army had closed down the arterial roads, citing security concerns.
However, after pleas from several local leaders and the municipal body, they gave a deadline to create an alternate road which is being extended every six months since 2016, as the roads hadnâ€™t been laid yet.
Though the Gough Road is now open for public, nonetheless, the restrictions on civilians continue to prevail. Vehicles will not be allowed from 10 pm to 7 am, except for ambulances.
The closure of roads affects hundreds of residents living in areas abutting the AOC like Marredpally, Neredmet, Anandbagh, Yapral, Sainikpuri, Safilguda and Ammuguda, among several others.
Meanwhile, civilians are also embroiled in another conflict with the Army in Secunderabad.
In the last week of April, citizens in the cityâ€™s Yapral area took to the streets, irked with the LMAâ€™s decision to shut off roads to civilians, turning an 800-metre ride into an 8-km detour.
The locals alleged that the road was shut off so the LMA officials could enjoy playing golf and watch movies at the RSI Club situated in the area.