The Telangana government which has been seeking Defence land in Hyderabad's Gymkhana Ground and Bison Polo Ground for constructing a Secretariat, Legislature and a cultural centre on the premises, may have got its way.
According to reports, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley may have okayed the proposal, in exchange for land elsewhere for the army.
The reports followed Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's visit to New Delhi, to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaitley on Wednesday.
Speaking to Krishna Prasad from the Times of India, a senior official who was part of the CM's delegation, â€śThe Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will formally announce the decision to handover the land to the Teangana government in a few days. The efforts of the chief minister have paid dividends for the state.â€ť
The TOI report adds that the state government has offered land at Bandlaguda, Sangareddy and Vikarabad and based on the preference of the Army.
Speaking to media persons after his 20-minute meeting with Modi, KCR said that the Centre had agreed to transfer defence lands to the state, for construction of flyovers, as part of its Strategic Road Development Programme (SRDP).
The SRDP is part of the state's plan to construct multi-layer flyovers over 20 junctions in the city to decongest traffic in Hyderabad.
When quizzed by reporters about the transfer of the land for the proposed Secretariat complex, KCR said that he mainly focused on land for the SRDP.
â€śModi assured me that he will personally take up the issue and ensure transfer of defence lands is done immediately,â€ť he was quoted as saying.
In May this year, hundreds of Secunderabad citizens took to Parade Ground in the city, and protested for days together.
The group of visitors, which included walkers, joggers and people who used the ground for exercising and sports, raised slogans, formed human chains, and even released black balloons.
Following this, KCR called for a press meet, and assured citizens that, "Neither the TRS government nor KCR will touch Parade Ground. It will continue to remain as an open space for walkers, sportsmen, children etc.â€ť
The Chief Minister went on to add that he had asked for land in Gymkhana Ground and Bison Polo Ground, for constructing a Secretariat, Legislature and a cultural centre on the premises.
He pointed out that the Bison Polo Ground was not even being used by the army.
"In fact, we are eyeing 55 acres of land for the new Secretariat. This will include 33 acres of Bison Polo grounds and 22 acres of adjacent Gymknana Grounds.We have received in-principal approval from the Union Defence Ministry for being handed over the Bison Polo grounds...We plan to build a world class Secretariat, a joint legislature building and Kala Bharati with a sprawling garden for state celebrations. The structures would be iconic," KCR was quoted as saying.
The two grounds are currently under the control of the Local Military Authority (LMA) under the Ministry of Defence (MoD).