Your space: Keep roads open, but regulate traffic for security
Elliot Lines road (Ghorpadi) and Right Flank road (Wanowrie bazaar) were opened to civilians on May 21. However, military authorities will review the situation and are likely to shut the roads to civilians again. Here’s what readers have to say.pune Updated: Jun 03, 2018 14:15 IST
I think these roads should remain open for civilians. While using these roads we regularly had routine identification checks by military personnel. We have always obliged without hesitation as we do understand that it is a high security area. We do not have an issue with that. Keeping these roads open for civilian use will be helpful to improve connectivity and also gives us better road options to travel through the city. Within these roads or bylanes, incase there are any high alert areas or offices of importance to national security, they can be closed or barricaded, but the main roads should be made accessible to civilians. Also the local military authority can create a set of timings wherein they can keep the roads open, like peak office hours, as that would help regulate traffic. They can also make a set of rules to aid traffic control in the Cantonment area.
Roads built with tax money should be accessible to all
Elliot Lines road and the Right Flank road are areas which are surrounded by a civilian population. Why should the civilian population give the military authority access through roads that are made using the tax money of the common man. These military installations, at times, become a burden for the common citizen, rather than being a service provider. Moreover, the military authority is being overly assertive and high handed. If the installations in these areas are strategically important, then why are they still within city limits. They can also be moved out. If these are supposed to be closed for whatever reasons, why are they not parting with land that can help make traffic movement easier through road infrastructure development. Defence ministry should consider moving these defence installations outside the city limits.
Sohel Kanngg, NIBM
Time moves on, so should the Army
The military establishments were installed when Pune was just a small town with a population less than 4 lakh. The Cantonment area was outside the periphery of the city. However, Pune’s strategic location needed the city to grow. The military needs a secluded place for any strategic operations. It is, therefore, important that Army establishments move out of Pune. They are sitting on prime land. By selling the land, they can earn huge amounts to build new Cantonments. It will be mutually beneficial both for defence personnel and civilians. Army will have established security and civilians will receive land that is much needed for the city’s growth, which is presently hampered by the Army’s establishments within city limits.
Rajinder Kaur Johal
National security should take centre stage
I travel to Kalyaninagar, parts of Vimannagar and Kharadi from Bibvewadi for work two to three days a week. I often use the Ghorpadi route to go to these areas. The recent opening of the Ghorpadi route through the Army controlled area has reduced my commute time by 10 minutes. However, what is important is national security. If the Army authorities decide to close the route again in the interest of security, then I will obey and respect it. Ten minutes is not the end of the world and this is the least that we can do to respect our military assets. Residents may be frustrated because of the constant repairs on major roads in the Cantonment area causing increase in commute time, but this should not be a reason to open roads passing through military areas.
Opening roads a welcome step, cuts civilian’s commute time
The city of Pune is totally surrounded by the Cantonment area which is not accessible to civilians. This makes it very difficult to commute as they have to take longer routes. So opening two roads in the Cantonment area is a welcome step taken by defence ministry. For the safety of defence personnel and their family, the military area can have more security in place as well. However, opposing the opening of these roads outright is too preposterous as civilians live with so many threats everyday. Reconsidering the decision of opening the two roads will underline the bias against civilians by the defence forces when they have watertight security arrangements. So be open to civilian’s help and let the roads be open. This will ease many people’s commute.
Maya Hemant Bhatkar
Local army authority’s move to shut roads send the ‘wrong signal’
Following instructions from Nirmala Sitharaman,defence minister, Right Flank road and Elliot Lines road were opened for public access from May 21. These are very important roads to thousands of commuters in the city. For several years we have been raising our voice to open these roads to civilians. We have also approached Anil Shirole, member of Parliament (MP) from the city, who had sent a letter to Sitharaman,requesting the military establishment to open these roads to common people. By taking cognisance of his letter, the two roads were opened to civilians from May 21.
However, the local army authority has now taken the decision to review the situation to shut these roads for civilians use. I do not understand why the Army is overriding a decision taken by the Ministry for defence. If they will close roads again, then this time we will write letters to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nirmala Sitharaman. The Army is doing this intentionally to pick a fight with civilians. As a result of this, our respect for army personnel is changing. The move sends the wrong signal. Instead of ensuring a cordial relationship, they are instigating an argument with the public.
Opening vital roads will help solve travelling woes
First of all, I would like to thank Nirmala Sitaraman, defence minister, for opening the roads within the Pune Cantonment limits in the larger interests of civilians. Why are army families not happy with this decision? The area near Elliot Lines road is densely populated with many civilian societies. Many families of Army officers and jawans have been living in these societies for many years. Their families freely come and shop in the bazaar area and market . Are they insecure? Then why have they suddenly started feeling insecure after the roads were opened? We are ready to follow traffic rules for safety. In a city like Pune, it is not possible to close such vital roads. Citizens have the first right to the road and it is their constitutional right. The public is an important pillar of the government and provides strength to one and all. Opening the roads will save time and bring down the travelling woes of the citizens. It will also help patients and people in need of emergency hospital services. We believe that the roads will remain open for the citizens for a very long time to come, just as it was in the past.