Hyderabad: The Telangana high court on Wednesday directed the state government not to go ahead with the demolition of buildings in the existing secretariat until further orders.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Abhishek Reddy were hearing a bunch of petitions against the demolition of the existing secretariat causing “unnecessary burden” on the exchequer.
The petitioners informed the court that the K. Chandrasekhar Rao-led government was trying to demolish the existing administrative complex also on the basis of “vaastu.”
When contacted, advocate general B.S. Prasad said the construction of new secretariat is a state’s prerogative and they will approach the court with all the designs and plans of the new one to seek vacation of the stay order.
The petitioners have contended that the state was reeling under severe financial crisis with huge loans and at this juncture it was not financially viable nor does it reflect the wisdom on the government’s part to involve in such high expenditure.
Chief minister Chandrasekhar Rao laid the foundation stone for the new secretariat on June 27 last year.
Subsequently offices from the administrative complex started shifting to other locations in the city.
The petitioners further contended that the existing secretariat was used by the dispensation of the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh also and many buildings in the complex were constructed in recent years.
They also informed the court that none of the buildings in the existing secretariat were in a dilapidated condition and hence there was no necessity for constructing a new Secretariat building.
The state government had earlier indicated that the new secretariat which would come up in about four lakh sq ft would cost around Rs 400 crore and it had decided to equip the new secretariat complex with state-of-the-art connectivity and other features.
On September 16 last year, the high court had set aside the TRS government’s decision to demolish the 19th century Nizam-era Errum Manzil palace building here for the construction of a new state legislature-cum-secretariat complex.
Opposition parties have said the move to build a new complex was a waste of public money and asked the government to first focus on repairing buildings of state-run hospitals, social welfare hostels and other developmental programmes.