Defence authorities relax traffic restrictions by 30 minutes in the morning

Paying no heed to the hue and cry raised by residents, political parties and others, the Army authorities imposed traffic restrictions on roads passing through Army Ordinance Centre (AOC) as ‘No thoroughfares’ for civilian traffic from Tuesday night.

The only concession made is that the restrictions are relaxed by 30 minutes in the morning, which means civilian traffic will be permitted to pass through the roads after 7.30 a.m. and not 8 a.m. as announced earlier.

The relaxation comes in the wake of a joint meeting held between Army and senior police authorities at AOC on Monday to review the restrictions.

Interestingly, even six days after the announcement of traffic restrictions, the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) is clueless claiming it did not receive any communication from the Army authorities. The issue is expected to figure in the Board meeting on Wednesday once CEO Sujatha Gupta arrives from Pune.

In the meantime, resident welfare associations and political parties continued their protests. Former TDP MLA G. Sayanna along with party workers staged a demonstration near the AOC demanding that the orders be withdrawn. “We have sent speed posts to the President, Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Governor E.S.L Narsimhan to listen to the commuters’ woes and direct the Army to shelve their plans. We are also planning to meet the Army authorities during the SCB meeting,” said B.T. Srinivasan, executive vice-president, United Federation of Resident Welfare Associations of Greater Hyderabad.

However, Army authorities are refusing to budge. “Roads will have to be closed, there is no second thought except for the half-hour relaxation in the morning,” asserted Col. Santosh Kumar, administration commandant, Andhra sub-area.

“We are not against civilians but we have been putting up with frequent accidents on these roads. Two days ago, an officer sustained injuries after he was hit by a vehicle from behind on the AOC-Trimulghery road. Traffic also affects our training,” said Mr. Kumar.

Last week, Army authorities had announced traffic restrictions on the Safilguda-Marredpally, Trimulgherry-AOC Centre, and Secunderabad Club-AOC Centre stretches in two phases.

In the first phase, the roads were to be closed between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. for civilian traffic from February 25 to March 9 and from March 10 onwards the restrictions will be in place 24 hours.

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