T’gana Cong leaders visit Secretariat; oppose construction of new buildings

The chief minister had last month said he would take a decision at the cabinet meeting on re-imposing lockdown in view of the surge in the number of coronavirus cases. Photo: PTI (File)

The Congress leaders in Telangana on Monday (June 1) voiced strong opposition to the TRS government’s move to construct new secretariat and legislature buildings here, saying the existing buildings were in good condition, having been constructed only about 30 years ago.

Congress MLAs and other leaders, who visited the Secretariat buildings, also said that there were more pressing issues to be addressed other than the construction of new buildings. “All these buildings have been constructed within the last 10-30 years. All facilities are there. This Secretariat is largest which catered to the needs of all districts in undivided state, right from Srikakulam (in Andhra Pradesh, bordering Orissa) to Adilabad,” Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader M Bhatti Vikramarka said.

“Separate Telangana state has been achieved to address unemployment, water, and other issues,” he said. Vikramarka also talked about the TRS’s election promises, including construction of double bedroom houses for the poor, distribution of three acres of land to the landless poor, and free education “from LKG to PG”.

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“There would have been some meaning if you have spoken about construction of Secretariat or Assembly, if there are surplus funds even after spending on… needs, in the order of priority,” he said. “There is ‘nothing more atrocious’ than saying that the Secretariat which catered to the needs of undivided Andhra Pradesh is inadequate for Telangana,” he said. “It is not the case either that the Secretariat buildings faced the threat of collapsing,” he added.

“All (facilities) are there. But, an atrocious idea originated in the mind of the Chief Minister of this state. Existing buildings be demolished. Funds be released. Palaces be built as per his wish. His name should be there on them like an emperor or a Maharaja. Peoples interests are not to be seen in this,” Vikramarka said.

Congress Lok Sabha member A Revanth Reddy alleged that the TRS government had taken a decision to demolish the buildings which are worth ₹1,000 crore. “The value of these buildings with about 10 lakh sq. ft is about ₹1,000 crore. (Chief Minister) Chandrasekhar Rao ji has taken a decision to demolish the buildings worth ₹1,000 crore with bulldozers,” he said.

Congress MLC T Jeevan Reddy alleged that the government is not talking about important matters like providing quality seeds to farmers and whether farmers loan waiver would be carried out at one go or in phases. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on June 27 set the ball rolling for construction of grand Secretariat and Legislative Assembly buildings with ground-breaking ceremonies.

The new ₹400 crore Secretariat buildings would come up in the existing complex housing several blocks, near the picturesque Hussain Sagar lake. The Chief Minister had earlier said that the present Secretariat complex was congested which made it difficult for fire tenders to move in in the event of a fire accident.

Noting that the legislative council building is situated at a distance from the Assembly building in the existing complex, Rao recently said that the path between them is in a zig-zag manner which made it difficult for the Chief Minister, ministers, and others to move. Dismissing the opposition’s criticism, ruling TRS MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy had earlier said that the government decides what is good for the people as people gave mandate to the party.

“These (buildings) also, we will definitely build in a way that is useful to people following the formation of separate Telangana and reflected the Telanganas pride. (We) will remove which are not necessary and build new (ones),” he said.

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