In a setback to the Telangana government, the state's High Court on Wednesday said that the Errum Manzil palace could not be razed for the construction of a new state Assembly, as it still enjoyed 'heritage' status.
The court was hearing a writ petition filed by social activist Om Debara, who challenged 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 court said that 135 heritage buildings identified could not be touched as per Section 6 of the General Clauses Act, even though Regulation 13 of the HUDA Zoning Regulations was repealed in 2015 by a Government Order.
The state government had been citing the scrapped regulation and contending that the Errum Manzil was no longer considered a heritage structure. The HC has now asked for a fresh response on the matter, taking into consideration the General Clauses Act.
After hearing both sides, the case was adjourned to July 22.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's plans for a new Secretariat and Assembly is facing opposition ever since he laid the foundation stone for both buildings on June 27.
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.
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. The Assembly building will be constructed at a cost Rs 100 crore.