Hill Fort Palace row: What do you need Rs 50 crs for? HC asks TSTTDCL MD

Advocate general Banda Shivananda Prasad informed the court that the National Academy of Construction and Heritage and Construction specialists has inspected the heritage structure and will give a report soon.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  23 Dec 2022 10:41 AM GMT
Hill Fort Palace row: What do you need Rs 50 crs for? HC asks TSTTDCL MD

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Friday expressed its ire at the managing director of Telangana State Travel and Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (TSTTDCL) for seeking Rs. 50 crores to renovate the Hill Fort Palace in Naubat Pahad, Hyderabad.

A High Court Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice C.V Bhaskar Reddy heard the plea filed by the Hyderabad Heritage Trust, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, represented by its founder and managing trustee Deepak Kant Gir. The petitioner alleged that the state government and its authorities had neither taken up nor permitted the revival of notified heritage monument Hill Fort Palace. Additionally, the petitioner sought directions to the state government to either take up protection or preservation/conservation and maintenance of the Hill Fort Palace immediately or permit the petitioners to take up the same.

Advocate general Banda Shivananda Prasad informed the court that the National Academy of Construction and Heritage and Construction specialists has inspected the heritage structure and will give a report soon. Further, the AG requested the court to give a short date of hearing to submit the report.

AG Prasad informed the court that except chief secretary Somesh Kumar, all higher officials concerned are present. Due to Niti Aayog's virtual meet of all states, CS Somesh Kumar was held up.

Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan asked about the developments that have taken place at Hill Fort Palace since the last hearing.

Further, the court directed the National Academy of Construction (NAC) to inform the court regarding the renovations of the palace. Moreover, the CJ Bench inquired about the TSTTDCL managing director's letter to the secretary of the state government seeking a sanction of Rs. 50 crores for restoration.

The Chief Justice Bench was irked by the TSTTDCL MD's request for Rs. 50 crores and said not even preliminary works have been undertaken till today. On what basis did he seek Rs. 50 crores? The amount could have been siphoned off till now, CJ Ujjal Bhuyan said. AG Prasad informed the court that the process will start soon and will be completed at the earliest.

In addition, Chief Justice Bhuyan questioned how long it will take for the NAC to complete the work. The Bench directed the state government to inform the court about the steps they are going to take after taking instructions from the NAC authorities concerned.

The matter was adjourned to 10 January 2023 for further hearing.

Arvind Kumar, special CS, municipal administration and urban development; Lokesh Kumar, GHMC commissioner; Sandeep Kumar Sultania, TSTTDCL managing director; and other officials, including principal secretary (revenue), engineer-in-chief (R&B), and the superintendent of the Archeological Survey of India were present before the Chief Justice Division Bench.

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