Residents from across the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad assembled at the Gymkhana Grounds on Sunday and protested against the Telangana government's plans to build a new Secretariat on the premises.
Holding posters and raising slogans, those who had gathered pointed out that the existing Secretariat could easily be repaired, and added that they did not want the construction of a skyscraper in one of the few lung spaces left in the city.
They also demanded that the Centre revoke the 'in-principle approval' that it had given to the Telangana government for handing over the two grounds to the state.
Earlier this month, Bison Polo & Gymkhana Protection Forum - a group resisting the state government's plan to construct a new Secretariat – wrote an open letter to both the Telangana government and Centre appealing to withdraw their plans. The forum threatened to organise protests if the state government doesn't pay heed to their plea.
"We need to save the last area of open greenery and lung space for us and for the future generations, rather than making our city unlivable with more construction debris and traffic congestion," they wrote.
KCR has been considering the land in Gymkhana Ground and Bison Polo Ground, for constructing a new Secretariat, Legislature and a cultural centre on the premises.
Critics have suggested that the Chief Minister is shifting the building, only to make it 'vastu-compliant'. They also contend that there was no need for a new Secretariat, as the existing one next to the Hussain Sagar lake, was perfectly safe and fine.
Two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) are being heard by the Telangana High Court on the matter, including one by ex-DGP MV Bhaskara Rao, former cricketer Vivek Jaisimha, war veteran and squadron leader Anil Bhalla and chartered accountant Turlapati Bharadwaj.