“Why is there a hurry to shift the offices? Important records would be lost due to the shifting, particularly revenue records,” said one of the petitioners.

This is anarchy Activists cry foul as Telangana govt readies to demolish Secretariat
news Controversy Friday, August 09, 2019 - 19:53

Even as the Telangana High Court is yet to give its order in favour of the government for demolition of the Secretariat, the government has ordered all departments to vacate the building so that it can be razed. The General Administration Department (GAD) has issued notices to all the offices to vacate the building by this weekend.

The government is planning to construct a new Secretariat in the same premises at a cost of Rs 400 crore, despite strong opposition from civil rights activists and opposition parties. 

Unfazed with the criticism, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had conducted a bhoomi puja on June 27, near D block, Secretariat.  

On Thursday, officials began packing the state records, documents, furniture, computers, and all office material so that they could be shifted to temporary offices. 

Due to the shifting process, the administrative work in most offices has come to a grinding halt. 

According to reports, the endowments as well as Roads and Buildings (R&B) department have already moved out of the existing office. The R&B office has presently moved out to Errum Manzil.  

Officials said that most of the offices would be accommodated in Burgula Rama Krishna Rao (BRKR) Bhavan, adjacent to the Secretariat. 

The renovation works in the BRKR Bhavan have already begun. Presently, the offices are being painted.

Besides constructing a new Secretariat, the government also wants to construct a new Assembly in Errum Manzil. However, heritage activists and the Nizam’s kin have objected to the government’s decision, claiming that Errum Manzil is a heritage structure. 

Numerous public interest litigations (PILs) have been filed against the government’s decision, which would cost Rs 500 crore to the state exchequer.

Following the sudden development, activist PL Vishweshwar from the Telangana Jana Samithi, moved the court on Thursday asking them to hear the case urgently. However, the court declined his appeal, and said that they will hear it in the normal course.

Though on ground, preparations have begun to demolish the structure, activists are hopeful that the High Court would intervene and stop the demolition.

Speaking to TNM, Vishweshwar said, “Crores of rupees have been spent on the Secretariat. When they are in perfect condition what is the need to demolish them, that too on the grounds of superstition like Vaastu?”  

"We are bothered about the offices being shifted, we will pursue the case until we get justice," he added. 

Another petitioner Lubna Sarwat said, “The matter is sub judice. Why is there a hurry to shift the offices? Important records would be lost due to the shifting, particularly revenue records.”

“These offices are well-maintained by spending crores of rupees. However, the CM is insisting on shifting them and demolishing them without any rational reason. This is anarchy. However, we have faith in the judiciary to deliver justice.”

She added, “There’s no transparency in the government. The CM claims that the cabinet passed the resolution for demolishing the building. However, that document is not available in the public domain.”

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