The Telangana government on Tuesday started the demolition of concrete structures of the secretariat building in Hyderabad after the High Court ruled in its favour.
On June 29, the High Court had dismissed writ petitions to challenge the state cabinet’s decision to demolish the existing structure and raise a new secretariat. The petitions were filed separately by Congress MLA T Jeevan Reddy, advocate T Rajinikanth Reddy and Forum for Good Governance secretary, M Padmanabha Reddy. Besides, Congress MP A Revanth Reddy and Prof PL Vishweshwar Rao had also challenged the impending demolition in 2019.
A division bench of the high court comprising chief justice Raghvender Singh Chauhan and justice Abhishek Reddy refused to interfere in the decision taken by the K Chandrasekhar Rao cabinet on June 18, 2019. “We do not find any irregularity in the cabinet decision to demolish the secretariat,” the division bench observed.
The opposition BJP argues that there is no hurry to demolish the building at a time when the nation is going through a health crisis. It says the existing secretariat could be utilised to set up a make-shift Covid hospital that can accommodate over 25,000 beds.
Paying no heeds to BJP and Congress, KCR is going ahead with the demolition. The traffic police cordoned off the secretariat from all sides to not allow anyone close to the demolition area. Even media was barred to enter the secretariat. In all, the secretariat complex has 10 blocks, including a heritage structure built during the Nizam period called Peshi, spread over 25.5 acres. Everything will be demolished using modern technology, the government says.
After the state bifurcation in 2014, the secretariat buildings were divided into a ratio of 58:42 for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana respectively, for 10 years, till 2024. But the Andhra government decided to move out and construct its own secretariat building in Amaravati, on the banks of river Krishna, giving a free hand to KCR to demolish and rebuild the one located in Hyderabad.