The central government on Tuesday informed the Hyderabad High Court that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is yet to ratify the proposed transfer of Bison Polo and Gymkhana grounds in Secunderabad to the Telangana government.
The court was hearing a petition by ex-DGP MV Bhaskara Rao, former cricketer Vivek Jaisimha, war veteran and squadron leader Anil Bhalla and chartered accountant Turlapati Bharadwaj.
â€œThe Defence Ministry has conveyed its inclination to accept the request of the state government not just for Secretariat but also for widening and developing National Highways-1 and Rajiv Rahadari (state highway-1) for meeting the infrastructure needs of the area. There is a detailed procedure to be followed and there is a policy laid down for this," the Centre's counsel was quoted as saying.
After hearing both sides, the bench adjourned the case for two weeks.
This comes after the stateâ€™s Attorney General argued in the court that the state government wanted to decongest the Secunderabad cantonment area, reportedly saying, "The state highway and national highway 44 passes through Cantonment. Leave alone the open grounds and lung spaces, the Army authorities are blocking even roads and making the lives of the people more congested and miserable. Hence we have decided to take up some works under our Strategic Road Development Project (SRDP) to de-congest the area."
Last month, hundreds of citizens in Hyderabad and Secunderabad took to the streets, to protest against the Telangana government's move of constructing a new Secretariat at the premises of the Bison Polo Ground.
Carrying posters and banners against the move, protestors gathered at the Parade Ground gate on the Tivoli theatre road and marched to Bison Polo Ground.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has been considering the land in Gymkhana Ground and Bison Polo Grounds, for constructing a 'vastu-compliant' Secretariat, Legislature and a cultural centre on the premises.
However, protesters claim that the move would kill a crucial lung space in Secunderabad.ï»¿
Last month, a blueprint of the proposed new Secretariat building was also released.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao himself has remained adamant on constructing the new Secretariat, telling critics that they could "go to hell".