Hyderabad, July (IANS) Telangana Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K.T. Rama Rao has urged Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to give directions to local military authorities of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board for restraint in unauthorised blockage of roads.
In a letter to the Defence Minister, he said the blockage of roads is affecting millions of citizens dwelling in north and north-eastern parts of Hyderabad.
KTR, as the state minister is popularly known, raised the issue of closure of Army Ordnance Corps roads. This is the latest in a series of letters written to the Defence Ministry requesting their intervention in resolving the long-pending issue.
"In an arbitrary and unauthorised manner, the local authorities are frequently resorting to the closure of these roads, resulting in untold misery to large sections of people as they have to take detours to commute daily," he wrote.
He said that in July, local military authorities had shut down four important roads - Allahabad Gate, Gough Road, Wellington Road, and Ordnance Road, citing a surge in Covid-19 cases.
"It is distressing to note these roads are closed often for reasons bordering on frivolity. The state had taken up all required necessary measures to contain Covid including lockdown in May/June, and seeing the improvement, the lockdown was eased and, surprisingly, roads are now closed for aforesaid reasons," said KTR.
He pointed out that no public roads can be closed by local military authorities/any authority other than a Cantonment Board, and without following the procedure laid down under Section 258 of the Cantonment Act.
KTR also highlighted the fact that Defence Ministry, in September 2018, reviewed the matter of the closure of roads and superseding all above orders or anything contained therein, insisted on the absolute necessity to follow the procedure prescribed under Section 258 of the Cantonment Act, and has directed that no public road in the cantonment shall be closed by the local authority/board without following the due process as set out thereunder.
"By blatantly defying all SOPs, guidelines, and instruction of MoD, the continued closure of roads and in fact, LMA adding more roads to such closures is regretful, and disappointing. Apart from it leading to innumerable sufferings to millions of people, the LMA is almost disobeying and neglecting its own SOP and guidelines," he wrote.
He urged Rajnath Singh to pass necessary instructions to the local military authorities in Hyderabad to immediately open all these roads and further restrain them from taking any unilateral and arbitrary decision for closure of any of the public roads without following the due process, as contemplated under Section 258.