The Congress and the BJP in Telangana have joined hands to oppose the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi's (TRS) plans to construct a brand new Assembly and Secretariat complex.
At an All Party Round Table conference in Hyderabad, that was also attended by Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) chief Kodandaram, the political parties said that it was a 'huge waste' of public money and pointed out that the existing buildings were structurally sound.
"I have served as MLA for five consecutive terms and I am quite familiar with the Assembly premises. I have seen Assembly buildings of many States and now I am attending the Parliament sessions as an MP. In my opinion, the present Assembly, both in functioning and aesthetics is on par with the Parliament if not better than it," Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Chief Uttam Kumar Reddy said in a press statement.
Telangana BJP president Dr K Laxman also spoke at the meeting. Following this, a resolution was passed, demanding that the state goverment preserve the heritage structures, rather than pulling them down.
TDP leaders L Ramana and Ravula Chandrasekhar and CPI's Palla Venkat Reddy also took part in Sunday's meeting.
Just earlier this week, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) said that Errum Manzil Palace in Hyderabad, which may soon be demolished for the construction of a new Telangana Assembly, was structurally sound. A team from INTACH who inspected the structure urged authorities to conserve it.
Arguments against the demolition of Errum Manzil are also being heard in the Telangana High Court after two petitions were filed in the matter.
Built in 1870, the Errum Manzil palace was surrendered during Independence to the newly-formed Indian government. For many decades, it had served as the Public Works Department office of united Andhra Pradesh and is a prominent landmark in Hyderabad.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on June 27 laid the foundation stone for the new Secretariat complex, to be built at a cost of Rs 400 crore.
All 10 buildings spread over 25 acres at the present complex next to Hussain Sagar, might be demolished to construct a new complex with an office space of 5-6 lakh square feet.