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Telangana CM’s Secretariat move a Tughlaq act: Congress

Hyderabad: The opposition Congress in Telangana on Monday termed Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s move to construct a new state Secretariat by demolishing the existing buildings as a “Tughlaq act”.

A Congress delegation visited the state Secretariat, housing the seat of governance, and felt that there was no need for demolishing the existing buildings as they were in good and stable condition and equipped with all facilities.

The leaders alleged that the Chief Minister was acting like the 13th century ruler Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq by demolishing buildings which were neither old nor in a dilapidated condition.

“There is no need for a new Secretariat as the existing structures are sound and have all the required facilities,” said Congress leader in the state Assembly Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka after going around various blocks in the Secretariat located near Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city.

Rao on June 27 laid the foundation stone for the new Secretariat complex, to be built at a cost of Rs 400 crore.

The opposition leaders said instead of wasting public money on new buildings, the government should spend it on other priorities like addressing unemployment and providing houses to the poor.

They also said the state exchequer cannot afford to build a new building every time a new Chief Minister assumes office.

“The Secretariat is not the Chief Minister’s personal or family matter. It is a facility built with public money and any decision should be taken by consulting all stakeholders,” he said.

Another Congress leader D. Sudheer Babu said Rao should drop his plans to build a new Secretariat in the public interest. “There is no need for a new building. Everything is fine in the present premises,” he said.

All 10 buildings spread over 25 acres will have to be demolished to construct a new complex with an office space of 5-6 lakh square feet.

Rao had earlier planned to build the new Secretariat at Bison Polo Grounds, a defence land in Secunderabad but the Centre was not willing to part with it.

The Bison Polo Grounds proposal was also opposed by environmentalists, sportspersons and opposition parties. Some of them had even approached the court to challenge the government move.

Some leaders have also challenged in the High Court his latest move to build new buildings for the Secretariat by razing the existing structures.