The Telangana government’s plan to build a vaastu-compliant Secretariat is facing some bad luck.
First it ran into legal hurdles, and now, the government is in a quandary whether to go ahead with demolition of the existing Secretariat buildings and construct a new one amid criticism over low testing, revenue losses and demands to convert existing structures into Covid facilities.
The High Court last week dismissed PILs filed by activists against the demolition.
Roads and Buildings Minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy said it was not an appropriate time to respond to a question on whether the government will go ahead with the new secretariat plan.
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. After becoming the first CM of Telangana, KCR was averse to using the CM’s chambers in the Secretariat and continued to work from Pragati Bhavan — his office-cum-residence at Begumpet. On June 27 last year, KCR laid the foundation stone for the new Secretariat but the High Court ordered a stay after activists filed PILs opposing the demolition.
The High Court dismissed the PILs last week but the plan is stuck with the government — now drawing flak for low testing and handling of Covid — wary of making any move. 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. “The state lost over Rs 20,000 crore in revenue during the lockdown. We are spending crores on augmenting health facilities in the state to battle Corona. I don’t think it is a good time to bring down buildings and construct new ones,” an official said.
The government had cut salaries and pensions of government officials for April and May, and agreed to pay the full salary of June after over Rs 3,000 crore of GST collection.
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