KCR drops plan to construct new Secretariat in defence land

Telangana chief minister and the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao is understood to have dropped his grandiose plans to construct an ultra-modern Vaastu-compliant Secretariat complex at Bison Polo Grounds, a 55-acre land belonging to the Ministry of Defence.

Instead, the chief minister has decided to construct new Secretariat complex in the existing premises by demolishing old buildings. “A decision to this effect will be taken at the cabinet meeting to be held next week,” an official familiar with the development said.

In all probability, KCR, as the chief minister is known, will lay the foundation stone for the new Secretariat complex in the last week of June at an auspicious date to be fixed by pundits shortly. “The design for the new Secretariat complex is already ready and so, the construction activity could start without any delay,” the official said.

KCR has never worked from existing Secretariat ever since he became the chief minister for the first term in 2014 as he had felt something was wrong with its Vaastu (ancient system of architecture that describe principles of design, layout, measurements, ground preparation, space arrangement, and spatial geometry). He ran his administration from his new official-cum-residential complex Pragathi Bhavan in Begumpet.

Even cabinet meetings and other official review meetings were held at Pragati Bhavan, a practice which he has been continuing even after returning to power after the assembly elections last December 7.

In fact, the Telangana chief minister had come up with grand plans to construct a huge secretariat complex at a cost of Rs 500 crore as per Vaastu at Bison Polo grounds at Secunderabad. His government made several representations to the Union ministry of Defence to hand over the land to the state government and offered an alternative piece of land to the ministry on the outskirts of the city, besides paying monetary compensation as per norms.

However, the defence ministry is learnt to have asked several queries over the alternative land site, besides raising concerns over security to surrounding Cantonment area due to shifting of state secretariat to the Bison Polo ground. “Since it might take a long time to clear all their concerns and get possession of the land, the chief minister has changed his plan and decided to go ahead with the construction of a new Secretariat in the same premises,” the officials said.

The existing Secretariat complex comprises 10 blocks spread over 25.5 acres of land, including a heritage structure constructed during the Nizam period. More than 30 departments are being run in this complex. After the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in June 2014, the buildings were divided between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the ratio of 42:58.

However, with the entire administration of Andhra Pradesh being shifted to its new capital region Amaravati where a massive Secretariat complex was constructed at Velagapudi, the buildings in Hyderabad secretariat complex remain abandoned and are now in a state of neglect.

Last week, the new Andhra Pradesh government headed by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy agreed to hand over its buildings in Hyderabad to Telangana and Governor E S L Narasimhan issued orders to that effect. “The transfer of the Secretariat buildings will be completed within a week,” the official said.

Later, the Telangana departments will move into the buildings handed over by the Andhra government, to enable demolition of existing buildings of the Telangana for construction of new Secretariat complex.

First Published: Jun 11, 2019 20:08 IST

Updated: June 11, 2019 — 8:51 pm