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Hyderabad: Supreme Court admits Cantonment road closure plea as PIL

Supreme Court admits Cantonment road closure plea as PIL
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Supreme Court admits Cantonment road closure plea as PIL

Highlights

There is no provision under the Cantonment Act to close the roads, except temporarily for the purpose of carrying out works relating to drainage, water supply etc., as per the Section 258 of Act

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Hyderabad: The Supreme Court has accepted complaints over road closure in Secunderabad Cantonment Board area as a public interest litigation (PIL). The email complaint dated July 19, 2020 by S Anoop Kumar, a member of Open Secunderabad Cantonment All Roads (OSCAR), on the closure of public roads by the Local Military Authority was accepted as a PIL.

A spokesman of OSCAR said, "One hopes the Supreme Court renders justice and ordinary people would be saved of the frequent harassment and inconvenience." OSCAR contends that there is no provision under the Cantonment Act to close the roads, except temporarily for the purpose of carrying out works relating to drainage, water supply etc., as per the Section 258 of the Act.

Section 258 (2) of the Act stipulated that the Board should not permanently close any street without prior permission of the general commanding officer. In case the Board wanted to close a street for security reasons, it should give public notice inviting objections and suggestions from the general public.

People say that for the past three weeks without any notice, the Local Military Authority (LMA) has been closing roads on and off. At times, the roads are open in the morning hours but in the evening they are closed." He further added, "At least if we know that it would be closed, we would take another road," they argue.

Federation of North Eastern colonies of Secunderabad (FNECS) contends that no reason is given in certain places.

How can the present health scare affect anyone who is not assembling at a place? People just travel in vehicles through the cantonment? It alleges that the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) has been reduced to a mute spectator.

As per the Section 258 of Cantonment Act, 2006, the closure of roads needs an approval from the board along with suggestions from the people residing in the cantonment.

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