Hyderabad: Paving the way for construction of a new complex for Telangana Secretariat, the Telangana High Court on Monday permitted the demolition of the existing structures.
A Division Bench dismissed petitions challenging the government’s decision to raze the old buildings and build a new complex for the administrative headquarters. Building a new Secretariat was a policy decision and the court couldn’t interfere with that, it said.
The judgment came as a victory for the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government as last year the court had struck down the cabinet decision to build legislature secretariat after demolishing Errum Manzil, a heritage structure in the heart of the city.
In August 2019, the government had temporarily shifted the Secretariat to Burgula Rama Krishnarao Bhavan to replace the existing structures with a swanky complex, to be spread over 5-6 lakh sq feet area, at a cost of Rs 400 crore.
All 10 blocks, spread over 25 acres near Hussain Sagar lake, which served as the Secretariat of undivided Andhra Pradesh, will now be demolished to build a new complex.
Heritage activists had claimed one of the blocks was constructed by Nizam, the ruler of erstwhile Hyderabad State, and carried heritage tag.
Though other buildings were built during the last couple of decades, the government said they had been built without following safety norms and were proving inadequate to meet the requirements.
Congress leaders Revanth Reddy, Jeevan Reddy, and others had challenged the government’s decision in the court terming it as waste of public money. They argued the existing structures were in good condition and could meet all the requirements.
The government had argued the state needed an integrated complex with modern amenities to ensure smooth functioning.
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao had initially planned to acquire Bison Polo ground in Secunderabad to build a new secretariat. But he had to drop the idea as the Defence Ministry refused to hand over the land.
On June 27, 2019, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for the new Secretariat and legislature complexes.
The foundation stone for the legislature complex was laid at Errum Manzil, a family palace built by Nawab Fakrul Mulk, a noble of the erstwhile Hyderabad state.