HYDERABAD: Citizens and activists from the city once again slammed the Telangana government for sticking to its stand on acquiring Bison Polo and Gymkhana grounds to build a new Secretariat. They said that they would protest against the government no matter what the High Court decides on the matter.
The Court will hear the case on February 12. Citizens groups have held multiple protests over the past year against the TRS government’s plan to build a new Secretariat on Bison Polo and Gymkhana grounds. They had even approached the Prime Minister’s Office to intervene. However, they say the PMO has not yet responded to them. They have now decided to approach the National Green Tribunal.
On Monday, members of the Bison Polo and Gymkhana Ground Protection Forum Secunderabad met at Somajiguda. They urged the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to not handover the grounds to the State government. They claimed that the new Secretariat would only benefit private stakeholders and not the citizens of Telangana.
Lubna Sarwath, a social activist and economist, said that people from different sections of the society, including historians, professionals, retired army persons and residents of Secunderabad, have been fighting the State government on this issue for a long time. She said that half the present Secretariat was empty, as the Andhra Pradesh government has shifted from it. “These offices just need to be renovated,” she added.
Sarwath said, “The deals between the State government are starting to look more like business deals than simple exchange of lands. We will not rest till the government withdraws its decision. The citizens stand against the takeover of Bison Polo and Gymkhana grounds.”G Shankar Narayan, a senior architect based in the city, reiterated Sarwath’s statement that the existing Secretariat and Assembly buildings were sufficient.