The government began the demolition process on Wednesday after getting approval from the court to construct a new Secretariat.

Telangana Secretariat
news Court Friday, July 10, 2020 - 14:39

In a setback to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's plan to construct a Rs 400 crore Secretariat by razing down the existing structure, the Telangana High Court on Friday ordered a stay on the demolitions with immediate effect. The court was hearing a petition by professor PL Vishweshwar Rao and Cheruku Sudhakar, who questioned the government's unilateral approach to demolish the buildings violating the environmental norms.

Advocate and activist Chikkudu Prabhakar, who argued on behalf of the petitioners, said, “The Secretariat is built near Hussain Sagar, a water body. Both demolitions and construction in this buffer zone should take place as per the law. But flouting all the environmental norms, the government had begun the demolitions.”

The state government in a clandestine manner on Wednesday began the demolitions by cordoning off the roads fearing protests by opposition parties.

“What was the need to demolish the structure at midnight? What were the Pollution Control Board and the Forest and Environment Minister doing, the division bench asked and ordered them to immediately stop the demolition activity,” Prabhakar told the media later.

He added, “People are already unable to breathe due to the coronavirus crisis and now the demolitions have further polluted the air quality.  We had argued that neither the buildings should be demolished nor should any constructions take place.”

According to Prabhakar, the government told the division bench, comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Vijaysen Reddy, that they are under the process of seeking all the required permissions, and asked the court to give time until Saturday. 

However, the bench refused and imposed stay on the demolitions until further notice. The case was posted to Monday, July 13. The Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan asked the government to get all the documents proving that they have abided by the demolitions and constructions rules of 2016. 

Chief Minister KCR is firm on demolishing the existing structure, claiming that it is ‘Vaasthu non-compliant.’ For the same reason, he shifted his office to Pragathi Bhavan, the official residence of the Chief Minister. 

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the government released a blueprint on the new structure which would be built by demolishing the existing structures. The new Secretariat is to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 400 crore.

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