Where is the money to construct new Secretariat? HC asks TS Govt

Hyderabad : Telangana High Court on January 2 asked the state government as to how it could mobilise funds for the constructing new Secretariat building despite the financial constraints. It directed the government to file counter affidavit informing the budget estimation for the proposed new Secretariat complex, a complete map of the proposed construction, area of construction, number of years to complete it, etc.

A Division Bench of the High Court, comprising of the HC Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy passed the orders. They were dealing with a batch of Public Interest Litigations (PIL) against the demolition of the Secretariat building. The counsel for the petitioners told HC that the state government was trying to demolish the entire complex to build a new one. It’s in complete contrast to the cabinet decision to modify the existing secretariat buildings. The HC later posted the matter to Tuesday, January 7, for further hearing.

Notably, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had laid the foundation for the construction of new Secretariat and Assembly buildings in Hyderabad in June 2019. The government has decided to demolish the existing Secretariat blocks to pave the way for construction of new Secretariat at the cost of nearly Rs 400 crore. Moreover, the government plans to demolish the historic Errum Manzil to build new Legislative Assembly building at the expense of over Rs 100 crore.

Several individuals and organisations moved the High Court against the demolition of these buildings. They brought to HC’s notice the double standards that underlie the government’s decision. While the government is talking about recession and economic slowdown, the state is also wasting money by demolishing existing buildings that are strong enough to cater to needs for the next few decades.

Telangana High Court had earlier struck down cabinet decision to demolish existing Secretariat buildings and issued stay orders on the demolition of Errum Manzil.

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