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Hyderabad: Old Secretariat building demolition begins, all routes closed

An official told indianexpress.com that the whole operation was planned meticulously so as to avoid any obstruction including from the media. By afternoon, it is said that four of the eleven buildings to be demolished have been razed.

Written by Rahul V Pisharody | Hyderabad | Published: July 7, 2020 4:41:21 pm
hyderabad traffic today, hyderabad roads closed The roads wouldn’t be opened till the last building is razed and debris cleared, an official said. (Express photo by Rahul V Pisharody)

As the Telangana government Tuesday began the demolition of the state Secretariat, it also ensured all roads leading to or from where the building complex could be visible was out of bounds for the general public. All vehicles, including media, were prevented from reaching anywhere close to the Secretariat complex.

An official told indianexpress.com that the whole operation was planned meticulously so as to avoid any obstruction including from the media. By afternoon, it is said that four of the eleven buildings to be demolished have been razed.

“It may take less than two days for all the buildings to be razed. A large number of workers and machinery are in the process of demolition. Entire process is mechanical. There is no controlled implosion,” he said.

The roads wouldn’t be opened till the last building is razed and debris cleared, he added.

No vehicular movement is allowed on the Tank Bund Road, NTR Marg, or the Necklace Road. While the Secretariat complex is located on NTR marg, the three roads that circumvent the Hussainsagar lake are very important to commute between Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

Vehicles coming from Secunderabad were stopped near the entrance to Tank Bund Road and diverted to lower Tank Bund road. Here too, barricades were erected blocking the Telugu Talli flyover which ends at the Secretariat. Barbed wire and heavy police bandobast awaited motorists near Indira Park and Dharna chowk, diverting the traffic movement further.

Blockages were seen near Ambedkar Circle, Liberty Circle, and Basheerbagh circle preventing vehicles or the public from reaching Tank Bund road. Similar barricades have been erected near Ravindra Bharathi as well as Lakdi-ka-pul junctions.

An official told indianexpress.com that the whole operation was planned meticulously so as to avoid any obstruction including from the media. (Express photo by Rahul V Pisharody)

The road from Khairatabad Basti leading to the back of the Secretariat was also blocked and police parties manned the checkpoints. The Khairatabad flyover leading to NTR Marg too was shut.

A bike mechanic near Liberty circle said the barricades were erected as early as 9.30 am Tuesday. The diversion of vehicular traffic came as a surprise to many office goers as well as regular commuters. Though initially many wondered the reason behind the sudden closure of roads, it became clearer that authorities did not want any obstructions to the demolition of the Secretariat complex.

A senior police officer maintained that the entire operation is supervised by the department concerned, which is the Roads and Buildings department, and that police have no role. “We had to block roads keeping the safety of people in mind. Roads will be opened shortly,” he said, refusing to divulge anything more.

Ten buildings located in a 25-acre campus, the oldest of which was built in 1882 by the Nizam government, were evacuated in July last after the government decided to go ahead with the construction of a new one. While several important offices including that of the Chief Secretary and the ministers were shifted to nearby BRKR Bhavan, several other departments presently function from buildings located across the city.

Citing bad vaastu and an unscientific layout of the existing buildings, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had planned to build an expansive new Secretariat to accommodate all offices in one place. Officials said that Rs 400 crore is required to construct the new Secretariat. Several activists and Congress leaders have appealed to the CM to convert the existing buildings into a Covid hospital.

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