The TRS has intensified its demand to merge the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) as over 20 roads under SCB’s control remain out of bounds for residents. For two consecutive days–Monday and Tuesday–TRS supporters led by chairperson of Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation M Krishank had protested near the closed roads, demanding the Local Military Authority to reopen the roads. The campaign took centre stage after the BJP-led Union government claimed that only two roads remained closed, while in reality 21 roads continue to be closed since 2014, according to Green Sainikpuri, a group fighting against the road closure.
The roads which continue to remain shut include: Amherst road, Rajendra Sinhji road, Holy Trinity road, Burr road, Lake Line road, Richardson road, Piru Singh Marg road, Byam road, Protnee road, Ammuguda road, Balaklava road, RA Lines road, Empress road, Mornington road, AOC records office road, according to residents.
“Union Minister G Kishan Reddy has lied in the Pxarliament and misguided the members of Parliament with false information. There are over 20 roads in Secunderabad Cantonment Board’s jurisdiction which have not been reopened despite several protests for the past few years. As the BJP has been misleading the people, we have decided to protest against the road closure,” said Krishank.
He added, “Our demand is that the Military authorities should fully reopen all the closed roads. Thousands of people are being inconvenienced because of the road closure. At some places permanent walls have been erected. This is the ground reality which the BJP does not seem to be aware of.”
The TRS campaign to merge SCB with the GHMC was recently reiterated by Minister of Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) KT Rama Rao. In a tweet furnishing a list of closed roads, tagging the Minister of State, Home Affairs, Kishan Reddy, who represents Secunderabad Parliament constituency and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, KTR said, “While 21 roads have been closed illegally and people are inconvenienced, your Govt reports only 2! If the SCB can’t provide basic facilities for citizens, request you to merge it with GHMC & resolve.”
Dear @rajnathsingh Ji, your junior minister are unaware of ground realities— KTR (@KTRTRS) December 18, 2021
While 21 roads have been closed illegally & people are inconvenienced, your Govt reports only 2!
If the SCB can’t provide basic facilities for citizens, request you to merge it with GHMC & resolve pic.twitter.com/MGWU9EMHXm
Speaking to TNM, Gulshan Grover, a resident and member of the Federation of Northeastern Colonies of Secunderabad, which has been relentlessly challenging the road closure said, “Barring Gough Road and other connecting roads in the Army Ordnance Corps, majority of the roads have remained shut. The issue has been persisting for several years now. Lakhs of people are at inconvenience because of the illegal act. Reopening roads is the only solution. The GHMC cannot establish any alternate roads. It is an impractical idea.”
Another resident, M Mukesh from Yapral lamented, “The roads leading to Bolarum via Valerian School have been restricted by the security who have erected checkposts. The other road via Hanuman temple near Kowkoor also has been barricaded with security forces guarding it. These closures have forced residents to take long detours of around 5-7 kms via Alwal to reach Bolarum.”
Meanwhile, in response to KTR’s demand for a merger of SCB with GHMC, Kishan Reddy reportedly took a jibe at the ruling party to “first work on repairing the roads in Malkajgiri, Jeedimetla and LB Nagar before talking about Cantonment roads.”