Pune: The recently opened Elliot Lines Road in Ghorpadi and Right Flank Road in Wanawadi Bazaar, which were closed since last several years and reopened on May 21, are likely to get closed, as the local military authority (LMA) has decided to review the nature of traffic passing through these roads and the threat, if any, it has because of the traffic.
They will monitor it for a month and then decide whether to close the roads or not. Some roads were unilaterally kept closed for a very long period and a review was essential. 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 after Members of Parliament (MP) and elected vice presidents (VP) of 62 cantonment boards raised the issue of the road closure in their meeting held with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
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 deliberate, calibrated and monitored exercise. The aim of opening roads in cantonments is to streamline the process of closure after carrying out an assessment of the nature of traffic moving through cantonments by following due procedure. A free hand has been given to the 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.
Commenting on it, Priyanka Shrigiri, Vice President of the Pune Cantonment Board, said, “Now that LMA wants again to close the roads when there are no threats by the civilians, then let it go according to the procedure and the procedure says that first public opinion will be taken and then it will be taken to concerned authorities. And since the roads are providing easy access to civilians, the opinions from the civilians will be negative on the closure of roads.”