Telangana govt begins demolition of old secretariat building amid protests

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The Telangana government on Tuesday began razing of the old secretariat building complex that conservationists feel qualify for UNESCO heritage status due to its historic and architectural value.

The move comes days after the Telangana High Court dismissed a bunch of PILs challenging the state's decision to construct a new secretariat complex here by demolishing the existing one, which stood the test of time and witnessed the rise and fall of several governments.

"The demolition of the secretariat building began during wee hours of Tuesday and it will go on today," news agency PTI quoted official as saying.

The office of chief minister Chandrashekhara Rao on Tuesday released the elevation design of the proposed "integrated secretariat new building, "which would come up at the existing site.

Rao had laid the foundation stone for the new administrative complex on June 27 last year. However, later some public interest litigations (PIL) were filed in the High Court against the construction of the new one alleging that it would cause unnecessary burden on the state's exchequer.

According to government sources, the new secretariat will be fully "Vaastucompliant."

Opposition parties have protested the construction of new secretariat buildings by demolishing the existing structures.

Chief Spokesperson of Telangana BJP, K Krishna Saagar Rao in a statement on Tuesday said the party strongly protests the 'atrocious action' of the TRS government in demolishing the old secretariat buildings for false prestige of KCR in the midst of a global pandemic crisis.

"While Chief Ministers across the country are busy building infrastructure to accommodate COVID-19 patients, unfortunately Telangana has a Chief Minister, who is busy demolishing the existing infrastructure, which can easily be turned into a massive facility to accommodate thousands of COVID-19 patients," he was quoted by PTI as saying.

The BJP strongly believes that the old secretariat buildings complex could have been easily converted into a 20,000 bed facility.

As the buildings are located in the heart of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation area, it could have been the ideal location to use for COVID-19 treatment.

Image Credit: Outlook India

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