Hyderabad: Diluting its earlier order on reopening of all cantonment roads, the ministry of defence on Monday issued a fresh circular empowering the Army to impose restrictions in certain circumstances.
The order has come as a shocker to those who were still expecting the LMA to reopen the roads in th SCB area. The Army now gets a free hand to decide over reopening of the roads.
The defence ministry said in its statement: “A freehand has been given to the Local Army Authority (LMA) to close and control access to the cantonments when there is actionable intelligence input or in case of emergencies. A simplified procedure will shortly be issued to jointly address the needs of the local public and the military establishment.”
The development comes a day after defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said she was willing to meet wives of Army officials, who had expressed concerns over security after the reopening on cantonment roads.
Monday’s order read. “Some roads were unilaterally kept closed for very long periods and a review was essential. A number of iterations were carried out with all stake holders where views expressed by all concerned were deliberated upon.”
“After giving due thought to the likely implications on the opening of roads, a considered decision was taken to open roads in military areas for one month and thereafter review the nature of traffic passing through these areas.”
It said the decision on opening or closure of roads will be taken after getting feedback from the Local Military Authority on whether roads “can be opened for civil traffic completely, selectively or as in the past” said the order.
The defence ministry said Army officials and scores of families living in the quarters were under apprehension that the reopening of roads may lead to a security situation or traffic congestion.
“It is clarified that this is a deliberate, calibrated and monitored exercise. The aim of opening roads in cantonments is to streamline the process of closure where required after carrying out an assessment of the nature of traffic moving through cantonments by following due procedure”.