Strongly defending the opening of cantonment roads for public use, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said a detailed review was undertaken and feedback sought from local military authorities before the decision was taken.
Clarifying on the sweeping order, Ms. Sitharaman said that the decision was only for cantonments where the civilian population and military lived together. “It doesn’t apply to military bases and military stations. It is only for cantonments,” she said, speaking to the media on four years of the NDA Government.
Ms. Sitharaman said that a list of all the roads closed was drawn up by the Director General of Defence Estates (DGDE) which was then sent to local military authorities of all cantonment boards to corroborate.
“After this exercise we came to know that 850 roads were under closure in 62 cantonments. From among the 850, 119 were closed without following the laid down procedure. So in a way the complaints which were coming from elected reps have some reason somewhere,” Ms. Sitharaman said.