Irked with roads that were still closed in their area, residents of Secunderabad Cantonment wrote to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the second time in less than a week.
The letter came after reports that the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) told the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that only two roads were yet to be opened, out of the 25 roads that were closed at various points in the past.
The SCB claimed that only Barr Road and Lakdawala Road were closed and added that the remaining roads had been reopened after the MoD's orders.
"It is known to every resident of Secunderabad, that the number of closed roads is much more. The same is also documented in the list and map submitted by us to the SCB CEO along. It is therefore surprising that both the Minutes of the Board Meeting of May 31 and the CEO's statement reported in the press talk of 2 roads only," the letter by Federation of North Eastern Colonies of Secunderabad (FNECS) Secretary, C S Chandrasekhar, stated.
"It is rather peculiar that by talking of Army and SCB jurisdiction, the CEO is making statements that go beyond the scope of the clear-cut directions by the MoD. To the general public this appears to be an obfuscation, and perhaps a prelude not to reopen the roads which were closed without following due procedure. In the present context, this is unacceptable. It will cause avoidable confusion, and must be stopped," he added.
The residents also said that they had repeatedly sought to meet with the CEO but failed to get an appointment.
"He has not answered phone calls made to his mobile number. Nor has he got back in reply to the messages left with his staff on the landline. This seems to be a rather cavalier approach by a senior officer in a matter of such great public importance. We once again request you to kindly immediately depute an unbiased team to carry out a survey of the ground situation, so that a clear picture emerges of the closed roads in Secunderabad Cantonment," the letter concluded.
Secunderabad cantonment is a densely populated area with 4 lakh civilians living inside it and another 6 lakh living in the areas abutting it.
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.