The closure of roads in the Secunderabad Cantonment area has been a topic of controversy for nearly five years, with the army establishment and the civilian population being at loggerheads with each other.
HYDERABAD: The closure of roads in the Secunderabad Cantonment area has been a topic of controversy for nearly five years, with the army establishment and the civilian population being at loggerheads with each other. The state government has never openly reacted to the issue. However, on Wednesday, urban development minister K.T. Rama Rao minced no words while criticising the military for its actions that were causing people hardship. While replying to a query in the Legislative Council, he said that the army establishment is testing the patience of the residents of the Cantonment area.
"Roads that had been used for several decades, and where no security concerns were noted, were closed after arbitrarily serving notices. Even the GHMC is being made to suffer. This is very unfortunate and not good at all," he said.
Mr Rao stressed that Hyderabad city and the Cantonment are located adjacent to each other. He said that there had been an increase in the number of residential colonies and habitations in both places over the last few decades while trying to point of that one-sixth the population of the twin cities was inconvenienced by the closure of the roads.
Commenting on the status of the two proposed elevated corridors in Rajiv Rahadari and Medchal, the minister said that though the issue had been pursued with higher authorities, nothing had materialised. He said that the Chief Minister had personally taken up the issue regarding the Strategic Road Development Programme with three different defence ministers — Nirmala Sitharaman, Arun Jaitley and Manohar Parrikar.
"States and the Centre should adopt a give and take approach. We have been requesting land allotment for the past three years. If the BJP in the state can use its contacts in New Delhi and gets things cleared, we are more than happy to request the defence minister and the state BJP to conduct the ground-breaking ceremony," Mr Rao said.
Residential colony associations that have been waging a relentless war against the closure of roads welcomed the minister’s statement.
"It is for the first time that an influential leader from the government has spoken publicly, echoing the sentiments of lakhs of citizens of the city," said Pankaj Sethi from the Federation of North Eastern Colonies of Secunderabad.