Hyderabad: Telangana minister of municipal administration and urban development K.T Rama Rao on Thursday wrote to Union Defence minister Rajnath Singh asking him to instruct the Local Military Authorities (LMA), Hyderabad, to immediately open all the roads in the Secunderabad Cantonment Area and further restrain them from taking any unilateral and arbitrary decision.

The minister said the closure of the roads is affecting millions of citizens living in the north and north-eastern parts of Hyderabad.

KTR had earlier written to the Centre and explained the arbitrary and unauthorized closure of roads by the Local Military Authorities that is causing untold misery to large sections of people.

"The latest in the series is as late as in July 2020, when the Local Military Authorities (LMA) shut down four important roads - Allahabad Gate, Gough Road, Wellington Road, and Ordinance Road citing a surge in COVID-19 cases. It is distressing to note these roads are closed often for reasons bordering on frivolity. In fact the state had taken up all required necessary measures to contain Covid, including lockdown in May/June and seeing the improvement, lockdown was eased and it is surprising that roads are now closed for aforesaid reasons," the minister wrote.

He also said that no public roads can be closed by the Local Military Authority or any authority other than a Cantonment Board (SCB in this case) and without following procedure laid down under Section 258 of the Cantonment Act 2006. "The LMA often takes shelter under an order of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh dated 26 September 2014. However, I submit that the ministry of Defence has reviewed the matter of the closure of roads and superseding all above orders or anything contained therein has imposed on the absolute necessity to follow the procedure prescribed under Section 258 of the Cantonment Act, 2006 and has in fact directed that no public road in the Cantonment shall be closed by the LMA CB without following the due process as set out there under," said KTR.

"Against this backdrop and blatantly defying all SOPs, guidelines and instruction of the ministry of Defence, the continued closure of roads and in fact, LMA adding more roads to such closures, is regretful, disappointing and apart from it leading to innumerable sufferings to millions of people. The LMA is almost disobeying and neglecting own SOP and guidelines," added KTR.

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