Days after Telangana High court’s order, the government demolished the 132-year-old secretariat building on Monday night amid high security.
Utmost confidentiality was maintained until the last moment. Sources said it was planned in such a manner that petitioners are unable to move the Supreme Court to stall the demolition.
Immediately after the court issued the order on June 29, security was heightened at the complex and arrangements to bring down the building started on a war footing. It was learnt that Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and DGP M Mahender Reddy monitored the demolition.
Constructed by Nizams, the old secretariat building was initially known as Saifabad palace. Since the formation of Andhra Pradesh state, this building served as the center of administration. It hosted sixteen chief ministers of starting from Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy to N Kiran Kumar Reddy.
Even after the formation of Telangana state, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and his cabinet ministers operated from this building.
While the Chief Minister avoided visiting the secretariat after the construction of a new camp office `Pragati Bhavan’, all departments continued to function from this building.
Later, a proposal for the construction of a new building was approved by the state cabinet. K Chandrashekar Rao held the groundbreaking ceremony for the new secretariat building, which is to come up at Errum Manzil.
Several people and organizations moved the High Court against the government’s decision. After hearing the case for eleven months, the court dismissed all the batch petitions and delivered the verdict a week ago.
Spread across 25 acres, the old building had ten blocks. The oldest being G Block, which was constructed in 1888. The D Block was constructed in 2003 during Chandrababu Naidu’s time. North and south blocks were constructed in 2012.
New Secretariat will come up at Errum Manzil at an estimated cost of around Rs 500 crores. It will have conference halls for Chief Minister and other ministers equipped with advanced technology.
In the meanwhile, graphical representations of the new secretariat building started trending on Twitter.