Hyderabad: Telangana’s minister for municipal administration and urban development K.T Rama Rao, on 16 August, wrote to the Defence minister, Rajnath Singh, requesting the removal of barricades from Secunderabad Cantonment roads.

KTR said the frequent road blockades by local military authorities in the Secundrabad Cantonment area, mostly without justifiable reasons, has become a cause of discomfort for the citizens residing in the north and north-eastern parts of Hyderabad.

The minister said these roads are a lifeline for the residents as they are the only roads connecting the area to the city. “The unannounced closure of roads such as AOC, Gough Road on previous occasions has resulted in widespread resentment among the citizens,” KTR wrote, adding the roads were closed without following the standard operating procedures which states that the local military authorities follow commands given in the Cantonment Act 2006.

“The procedure prescribes that proposals for road closure will have to be forwarded to the ministry for legal vetting, which will only be done after draft orders have been published in at least three local newspapers and the cantonment board’s website,” the letter read.

The administration at Secundrabad Cantonment area had shut down the Allahabad Gate, Gough Road, Wellington Road, and Ordinance Road in July 2020. At the time, the Army authorities had cited COVID-19 as the reason and the standard SOP was not followed.

The minister further added that it was illogical to try to stop the spread of the pandemic by closing public roads. “One can also imagine the tragedies that can occur during medical emergencies if such roadblocks are allowed,” the letter read. He further requested the Defence minister to intervene and stop the arbitrary closure of roads without following the standard operating procedure.

Meanwhile, the Federation of North Eastern Colonies of Secundrabad also sent a letter to the Defence minister following KTR’s letter. The federation claimed that the closure of the Rajendra Singh Ji road network – Rajendra Singh Ji Road, Burr Road, Holy Trinity Road, Richardson Road – and the Hislop-Amherst Road network – Hislop- Amherst Road, Protnee Road, Lake Line Ranges Road, Yapral Road, Byam Road, and Ammaguda Road – was proving to be the most problematic.

The federation further said these roads are crucial in connecting areas of Yapral, Kowkoor, Balaji Nagar, Sainikpuri, and beyond. It said people are being forced to undergo extreme hardship due to the closure of the roads.

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