West Shillong MLA seeks CM’s intervention over closure of public roads in City

Shillong, Aug 10: United Democratic Party (UDP) MLA, Paul Lyngdoh on Thursday wrote a letter to chief minister Mukul Sangma seeking his intervention with regards to closure of public roads in cantonment areas.

The Opposition MLA who represents West Shillong Assembly constituency said that the general public who approached him complaint that the closure of roads in cantonment areas, particularly the road opposite Shillong civil hospital and Mawshbuit, has caused a lot of inconvenience to the public.

Lyngdoh said that proper procedure was not carried out in closure of roads, especially the footpath from Anjalee cinema hall to Bawri Nethralaya Eye Hospital, which was completely sealed.

Referring to a letter dated January 9, 2015, issued by the Additional Director General (cantonments), Directorate General Defence Estates, New Delhi to all principal directors, defence estates, Lyngdoh said that the letter has stated that “Public roads in cantonments are being closed by the local military authorities without any statutory information and without following the procedures prescribed in Section 258 of The Cantonments Act, 2006.”

The letter also said that it has been decided that no public road, outside unit lines, in a cantonment shall be closed by any authority other than a cantonment board for any reasons other than security and without following the procedure laid down under Section 258 of The Cantonments Act, 2006.
“If in the opinion of the local military authorities, any road needs to be closed for security reasons, it will approach the local cantonment board to set the process in motion as required under Section 258 of The Cantonments Act, 2006.”
Lyngdoh asked the chief minister to take up the matter with appropriate authorities for immediate removal of barriers to entry/exit points to the above mentioned roads in the city.

Section 258 of the act said that a street can be permanently closed only by a cantonment board for security reasons alone, after giving public notice inviting objections and suggestions from the public and obtaining permission from the general officer commanding-in-chief or the principal director of the command.

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