A fresh written petition challenging the Errum Manzil demolition and construction of new assembly in its place has been filed with the Telangana High Court on Friday. In the meantime, the state government has constituted a technical committee to evaluate the strength of existing assembly structures.
The social activist OM Debara in his writ petition is challenging the state government’s decision do away with Regulation 13 of the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) Act 1975. Amendments to the legislation do not list Errum Manzil and several other heritage structures in the city under the protected monument list. His writ plea also challenges the Government Order number 183 that brought about the removal of the structures from the said Act. The state government proposed the demolition citing that the structure does not come under the protected monument list.
The Telangana High Court last week directed the state government not to demolish the existing Secretariat buildings and the Errum Manzil in order to construct a new Secretariat and Assembly till further orders. The government had sought 15 days time to file its counter-affidavit to those petitions.
The court also heard the writ plea against the demolition filed by Deccan Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute. Their advocate Nali Kumar, told the Court that under Regulation 13, the state government must take consent from Hyderabad Metro Development Authority (HMDA). The advocate pointed out that the state has not yet taken the HMDA’s consent nor has any plan been approved by the HMDA.
The court will now hear the case on Monday.
The state government in the meantime has roped in top engineering institutes to help it prepare a report on the safety of the existing Secretariat buildings, reported ToI. The state has so far enlisted the services of the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H), Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad (JNTUH) and National Institute of Technology, Warangal (NIT-W). This is despite some heritage activists claiming that the structures are sound.
Officials from Telangana State Disaster Response & Fire Service Department and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will also be taking part in assessing the safety of the structure.