Days after Telangana High Court Telangana High Court gave a go-ahead to the state government to construct a new Secretariat complex in place of the existing one, the razing of the old Secretariat building complex in Hyderabad began in the wee hours of Tuesday.
On June 27 last year, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had laid the foundation stone for the new administrative complex which will cost the exchequer Rs 500 crore. The new complex would come up in about five-six lakh sq-ft after the demolition of the current structure.
Earlier, CM Chandrashekar Rao had plans to construct the Vaastu-compliant Secretariat complex at Bison Polo Grounds which belongs to the Ministry of Defence.
KCR, who supremely believes in Vaastu and firmly trusts astrology and numerology, visited the existing Secretariat at only a few occasions as a chief minister as he was advised that the complex had “Vaastu-Dosha”.
During his first stint as a chief minister, KCR chose to run the government from his palatial bungalow-cum-camp office at Begumpet while continuously putting in all efforts to build a new Vaastu-friendly Secretariat building.
KCR even opted to vacate the TB and chest hospital, which is currently being used as a Covid care center, located at Erragadda, and build his dream project. The dream hit a roadblock after the government faced criticism from society.
Later on, KCR found the historical Bison Polo Grounds most suitable for his dream project but several meetings with former Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman or Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not yield any results.
When KCR returned to power for the second time as the Telangana chief minister, he decided to build a new swanky building where the old Secretariat sits. The old Secretariat sits on over 25.5 acres of land and houses almost every department including the Chief Minister’s Office.
It has also witnessed the historic Nizam era and legendary CMs like NT Rama Rao and YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
The demolition of the old Secretariat has, however, did not go down well with opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and others. Opposition parties have protested the construction of the new Secretariat building by demolishing some of the existing structures.
Reacting on the midnight demolition, 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 coronavirus 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 patients,” he said.
The opposition party reminded the state government of how the state is in the middle of a serious public health crisis with rapidly increasing coronavirus cases.
“Telangana is now rated as the second-highest in the rate of infection, while it stands at number one position in conducting the lowest number of Covid tests. CM KCR seems to be hardly worried and untouched by these alarming statistics,” BJP’s Ramchandra Rao said.
The BJP strongly believes that the old Secretariat building complex could have been easily converted into a 20,000-bed facility.
Further attacking the government, the party said CM KCR has once again proved to be incompetent and incapable to rise to the occasion, to serve people of the state who are in a serious health crisis.