Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on June 29th, gave its nod to the state government for demolition of the old secretariat complex, making way for a new one. The High Court dismissed the batch of petitions which challenged the state government’s decision to construct a new secretariat.

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 parliamentarian A. Revanth Reddy, against the demolition of the existing secretariat complex. The court has dismissed all the 10 petitions challenging the demolition.

Last year, on June 27, 2019 Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao laid the foundation stone for the new building. The CM said that a new Assembly and Secretariat building would be constructed at a cost of Rs 400 crore.

The advocates representing the Telangana government argued that the formation of the Secretariat was a procedural decision. The existing secretariat had not met all the requirements of space and safety to run the Secretariat efficiently, and also the building is in ruins, they said.

The advocates, on behalf of the petitioners, argued that the government is misusing public funds in the name of the Secretariat.

The High Court referring to the long list of arguments said we are not seeing any irregularities in the Cabinet decision to demolish the building. The court cannot interfere in the Cabinet decisions. The decision of the Cabinet cannot be invalidated, it said. The court gave permission to demolish and construct the new building.

The Secretariat Complex at Saifabad has old Nizam period heritage with 10 blocks spread in 22.5 acres. After the bifurcation of the state in 2014, 58 per cent of the building was allotted to the Andhra Pradesh government for 10 years, until 2024. The remaining 42 per cent of the building is with the Telangana government. Various departments of the Telangana government shifted out of the building. The court had reserved the decision after the March 6 hearing.

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