The construction of the Secretariat will deprive residents of an open ground, as well as increase their traffic woes.

Will Telangana government succeed in constructing Secretariat amidst protests
news Protest Sunday, September 17, 2017 - 17:13

Activists and residents thronged to the Bison Polo Grounds in Secunderabad on Sunday to protest against the construction of the Secretariat on the grounds.

The Telangana government has decided to construct a new Secretariat on the 55-acre ground, despite having a well-equipped Secretariat near Hussain Sagar.

Opposing the decision, several people have criticized the government’s move and have launched online campaigns.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao — by his own admission — said that the plan to evacuate the present Secretariat is due to vaastu (traditional Hindu belief).

The state government and the Defence Ministry have come to an agreement, and the defence ministry will be handing over the Bison Polo Grounds and the adjoining Gymkhana Grounds to the Telangana government for its proposed Secretariat plan.

Why are people protesting?

Sportspersons and people who use the grounds to exercise claim that the construction of this new Secretariat will deprive them a space for recreational and sports activities. The grounds, which is under the Defence Ministry, is open for general public. Hundreds of people visit the ground everyday for outdoor activities and sports. Occasionally, military trainings are also conducted on the grounds.

In fact, it is the only open space in the concrete jungle of Secunderabad. Several PILs have been filed, and active campaigns continue to take place to save the grounds. Locals also raise objections that the proposed Secretariat might further increase the traffic woes in Secunderabad.

When political parties protested against Rao’s wishes, he countered them by saying that the existing sports facilities, like the Gachibowli stadium, are actually being used for other purposes like weddings and events.

Genesis

Shifting base from Hussain Sagar to Secunderabad wasn’t the government’s original plan. In 2015, after assuming charges as the Chief Minister, Rao considered building a Secretariat in Erragadda by vacating the Chest Hospital and TB hospital. Authorities planned to shift the patients and the hospital to Vikarabad, a neighboring district of Hyderabad, nearly 80 km away from the city.

However, faced with stiff opposition from political parties, activists and employees of the hospital, the government had to retreat.

The Chief Minister then tried to make changes in the existing Secretariat by constructing new roads to make it vaastu friendly. Nonetheless, the Chief Minister wasn’t convinced with the outcome, and since has been vying to get a new Secretariat within the city.

The new Secretariat is likely to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 600 crore.

Earlier, a sustained campaign led by residents and activists had forced the government after it was announced that the new Secretariat would be built at Parade Grounds.

Later, the Chief Minister said that the Public Relations team had made a mistake, and stated that the government has no plans to construct the Secretariat on Parade Grounds.

 

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