Pune: The Union Defence Ministry has written a letter to the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) on Monday directing it to reopen the closed roads immediately.
Elliot Lines Road in Ghorpadi and Right Flank Road in Wanawadi Bazaar have been closed for the last several years by the Army authorities on the pretext of heightened security measures. However, both roads will now be reopened providing relief to commuters.
A detailed review was undertaken by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman based on the meeting convened with the Members of Parliament (MPs) and the elected vice-presidents (VPs) of the 62 cantonment boards on issues relating to cantonments, particularly relating to the closure of roads within their limits.
The ministry also reviewed this matter with Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and senior officers of the ministry.
Priyanka Shrigiri, elected VP of PCB told Sakal Times that the Elliot Lines Road in Ghorpadi is a kilometre-long stretch while the Right Flank Road in Wanawadi Bazaar is two kilometres long falling within the limits of the LMA and will be reopened within two days after the documents are cleared by the LMA and the Principal Director.
PCB members’ efforts
- Following the German Bakery bomb blast in 2010, Alexander Road, Queens Garden Road, Elliot Lines Road in Ghorpadi and Right Flank Road in Wanawadi Bazaar, which are civilian roads, were closed by the local military authority (LMA) on the pretext of heightened security measures. Alexander Road and Queens Garden Road were opened in 2015 after Tushar Mantri, the then VP of the cantonment board, submitted a memorandum to Manohar Parrikar, the then defence minister, during his visit to the PCB and demanded immediate reopening of both roads in the presence of MP Anil Shirole.
- Kiran Mantri, an elected ward member of the PCB, said, “Alexander Road and Queens Garden Road were within the PCB limits. So, the decision was taken immediately by Parrikar. However, Elliot Lines Road and Right Flank Road fall within the jurisdiction of the LMA. Hence, the decision was pending. But now as the ministry has directed to reopen the roads, it will be a big relief for commuters.”