Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Monday gave its nod to the state government to go ahead with drafting new designs for the new Secretariat building and prepare budget estimates for the construction of the same.
The court, however, made it clear that it was not giving any stay on the process of finalization of cost estimates, designs, and building plans meant for the construction of a new Secretariat complex. The stay was only against the demolition of the existing secretariat building complex, it said. It has directed the state government to finalize the designs, building plans and costs and submit an affidavit by February 12. A Division Bench of the High Court passed this order while dealing with a batch of Public Interest Litigation (PILs) filed by concerned citizens, including Congress MP A. Revanth Reddy, against the demolition of the existing Secretariat buildings.
It may be noted that in a counter affidavit filed earlier in the HC, the government had told the court that the estimated cost of the proposed new Secretariat complex was around Rs 300 to 400 crore. It had also said that it required around 12 months to complete the construction work. The state had further said the designs of the proposed complex were not yet finalized due to the case pending before the HC.
The court had asked the state how it could mobilise funds to construct new Secretariat buildings despite its financial constraints. It had directed the government to file a counter affidavit informing the court about the budget estimates for the proposed complex, a complete map of the proposed construction, the area of construction, and the time required to complete it. Arguing the case, the counsel for the petitioners told the HC that the state was trying to demolish the entire complex to build a new one disregarding the Cabinet’s decision to modify the existing Secretariat buildings.