New Vaastu-compliant Secretariat a test for KCR in state, country polls

KCR believed that the Secretariat not only had bad Vaastu but lacked a basic working environment and safety, especially in case of a fire mishap.

By CR Gowri Shanker  Published on  17 Jan 2023 3:00 AM GMT
New Vaastu-compliant Secretariat a test for KCR in state, country polls

Hyderabad: “Vaastu” compliant Telangana Secretariat building that will be inaugurated on 17 February on Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s birthday will test not only KCR’s political luck in the state but also Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) eyeing a national role!

KCR will be facing Assembly elections for the third time in December and also trying his luck to rule the country through the newly-formed BRS (formerly known as TRS). Will the new Vaastu Secretariat building bring him luck in the state and the country is to be seen.

CM shuns old Vaastu “defective” Secretariat

The CM shunned the old Secretariat building located in the heart of capital Hyderabad abutting picturesque Hussain Sagar lake after the formation of the Telangana state on 2 June 2014, citing “bad Vaastu” by his Vaastu confidants.

He ordered its demolition and the construction of a new one in its place despite sharp criticism from Opposition leaders, rationalists, and environmentalists, some of whom had even gone to the High Court for a stay but in vain.

New Vaastu-compliant Secretariat

The new sprawling over Rs. 610 crore Secretariat named after Dr BR Ambedkar is not only believed to be “Vaastu compliant” but also has state-of-art facilities for the CM and his team. Shapoorji Pallonji are the contractors. KCR laid the foundation for the new Secretariat building on 27 June 2019.

For the layman, Vaastu Shastra is an ancient system of Indian architecture based on ancient texts that advocates principles of design, layout, measurements, ground preparation, spatial geometry, etc. It unifies science, astronomy, astrology, and art dating back to the Vedic times for peaceful and successful living.

Vaastu has always been a subject of debate among believers, scientists, rationalists, and non-believers.

Pragathi Bhavan

Since coming to power, KCR has been operating from the CM’s official residence Pragathi Bhavan, located at Greenland’s Begumpet, and at times from the CM’s farmhouse located at Eravalli village near Siddipet in Siddipet district. Pragathi Bhavan, too, has undergone Vaastu changes!

New Vaastu Secretariat

All eyes are on the new Secretariat building after minister for roads and buildings Vemula Prashanth Reddy, who is monitoring the construction of the Secretariat, announced its opening on KCR’s birthday. “It is fully Vaastu complaint,” said a senior official. The new Secretariat is being constructed as per the Indian Green Building Council norms.

KCR, during a review meeting on Secretariat sometime back, justified going for new buildings. “We have to construct the state Secretariat to reflect our self-respect. It should also become a role model for other states. The atmosphere in the Secretariat should provide comfort both for the employees and the visitors. History is proof that no one has prospered because of this (Vaastu),” he said.

Vaastu expert for KCR

Known for his immense faith in Vaastu, astrology, and Indian and Telugu culture and history, KCR appointed Vaastu expert Suddala Sudhakar Teja as an advisor to the state government to advise the government on architecture, building, and planning for the first time in the country.

Teja was instrumental in selecting a Vaastu-compliant camp office and house for the CM. Teja believes that Vaastu is nothing but dwellings with good ventilation, airflow and gravitational power to ensure healthy living and good working environment leading to proper decision-making. In 2015, the Telangana government demolished a swimming pool at the IAS officer association campus next to the CM’s camp office in Begumpet and filled it with mud to avoid ill effects!

Vaastu bug bites all CMs, ministers

The Secretariat has always been in the news for not only administrative reasons and agitators but also for Vaastu in both undivided Andhra Pradesh and also in the newly-formed Telangana state.

Almost every CM, minister, and even some bureaucrats who occupied offices in the old Secretariat buildings indulged in some Vaastu changes on the advice of Vaastu pandits and well-wishers. In fact, ministers ensured they got Vaastu offices!

Secretariat reconstruction story

The Secretariat reconstruction was reportedly discussed by two friends-turned-political foes KCR and N. Chandrababu Naidu, then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister functioning from Hyderabad Secretariat, on 2 February 2015.

KCR reportedly complimented Naidu for selecting a Vaastu-compliant Amaravati as the capital (which failed to take off) and also told him he would dump the Secretariat since it is “totally against principles of Vaastu” and construct a new one in its place.

Naidu was running the AP government from L Block in the Old Secretariat building in the joint capital Hyderabad before moving out to the temporary Secretariat building in Velagapudi in Guntur district of AP and planned to construct Amaravati as the new capital of AP. But the Vaastu-compliant Amaravati site on the banks of the river Krishna failed to bring luck for Naidu. He lost to Y.S Jaganmohan Reddy in the elections. Jagan demolished Amaravati as the capital and went for “3 capitals” idea for decentralisation of power in AP!

Naidu never expressed his belief in Vaastu but he did allow his brother-in-law and actor Balakrishna to make Vaastu changes in NTR Trust Bhavan at Banjara Hills before the 2014 elections. Naidu returned to power after 10 years!

Vaastu bug bites Hyderabad Secretariat

The old Secretariat building in Hyderabad always attracted Vaastu pandits and there have been heaps of advice to those who occupied it for ages. During NT Rama Rao’s tenure as CM, a wall was constructed on the premises on the southern side to ward off evil.

Former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who doesn’t show his love for Vaastu publicly was told by a Vaastu expert that he should not work from the existing secretariat buildings since it is located in front of Hussain Sagar. According to the Vaastu expert, “a building should not be located in front of a pit, lake or a shallow place” as it will bring ill luck.

Spread over 25.5 acres, the old Secretariat complex at Hyderabad dates back to the Nizam era, the G block from where Nizam VII ran his administration. Over a period of time, nine more blocks were constructed; the newest being the D Block, constructed in 2000.

KCR believed that the Secretariat not only had bad Vaastu but lacked a basic working environment and safety, especially in case of a fire mishap.

He took up the demolition of the old Secretariat complex and began construction of a new one on an area of about 6 lakh sqft immediately after the High Court gave clearance, keeping in view environmental concerns. Interestingly, the Secretariat complex will continue to have the age-old Nalla Pochamma Temple and a masjid, rather rare in any Secretariat across the country.

Despite constructing a new Secretariat based on Vaastu principles, noted astrologer Ramana Rao from Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh finds the new Secretariat building in Hyderabad not suitable for Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. Ramana Rao says KCR would be better off ruling from Pragathi Bhavan or the farmhouse than the new Secretariat building in Hyderabad!

But he refused to elaborate why saying only time will tell.

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