Military to closely monitor civilian traffic passing through the recently opened roads in Pune
The union defence ministry in a media release stated that the Cantonments came up during the British era and were exclusive areas where service personnel and their families resided. Over the years, cities have expanded and a large number of civilians now reside in close proximity of the Cantonments.Updated: May 31, 2018 23:25 IST
Two roads in Pune Cantonment - Elliot Lines road in Ghorpadi and Right flank road in Wanowrie bazaar, which have been closed for the past several years to civilian traffic, before being re-opened on May 21 on the directions of the defence ministry, will now likely be shut down again.
The local military authority has taken a decision to review the type of traffic using these roads. Besides, a threat perception assessment based on intelligence inputs will also be taken into account as a part of security measures being undertaken by the army authorities.
The union defence ministry in a media release stated that the Cantonments came up during the British era and were exclusive areas where service personnel and their families resided. Over the years, cities have expanded and a large number of civilians now reside in close proximity of the Cantonments.
“Some of these civilians provide essential services to military personnel and their families, while others find the environs of military areas conducive to settle down. Whilst the passage through Cantonments to civilians who give support to military personnel is provided for mutual benefit, the others who are denied the passage feel aggrieved. The latter have often raised the issue of closure of roads through Cantonments which facilitates access to their residential areas,” the release stated.
“A number of iterations were carried out with all stakeholders 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.
“Decision on opening or closure of roads will be taken after a feedback from local military authorities on whether roads can be opened for civil traffic, completely, selectively or as in the past.
“There seems to be some apprehension in the minds of military personnel and their families that the opening 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 assessment of the nature of traffic moving through Cantonments by following due procedure.
“A freehand has been given to the military authorities 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 notification stated.
Dr Kiran Mantri, member, Cantonment board, who has been spearheading the movement for opening the roads, said, “There is a need for greater and wider public debate over the issue. The citizens of the country have their constitutional and fundamental right to commute on the public roads which they have been enjoying for decades together. We want that they must have unfettered access to these roads which their forefathers have been using without any closures for so many years ,” she said.
First Published: May 31, 2018 23:24 IST