The Telangana High Court on Monday 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.
Hearing a batch of petitions against the state government's plans to construct new Secretariat complex by demolishing the existing the structures and build new Assembly building by razing heritage building Errum Manzil, the court asked the government not to take any further action till further orders.
The government had sought 15 days time to file its counter affidavit to the petitions. However, with the court directing it not to take up demolition till further orders, the government conveyed that it will file the counter later in the day.
The opposition parties and various non-political groups have opposed the government's plans, calling it waste of public money.
Descendants of Nawab Fakrul Mulk, a noble of erstwhile Hyderabad State, have also opposed the plans to demolish Errum Manzil, a family palace built by him about 150 years ago.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on June 27 laid the foundation stone for both the buildings.
While the new Secretariat complex will be built at a cost of Rs 400 crore by demolishing existing structures near Hussain Sagar lake, the Assembly building will be constructed by razing Errum Manzil, which currently houses office of Roads and Buildings Department. Assembly building will be constructed at a cost Rs 100 crore.
Opposing the government plans, the opposition parties said this would waste the public money as the existing buildings are stable and continue to serve the purpose.
Just earlier this week, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) said that Errum Manzil Palace in Hyderabad, which may soon be demolished for the construction of a new Telangana Assembly, was structurally sound. A team from INTACH who inspected the structure urged authorities to conserve it.