HYDERABAD: Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday laid the foundation stone for the new Secretariat complex and the new State Legislative Assembly and Council integrated complex at two separate ceremonies here. The Bhumi Puja was performed as per the arrangements.
The foundation stone laying ceremony, in an atmosphere filled with hymns and prayers, behind the D-Block of the existing secretariat campus was attended by ministers A Indrakaran Reddy, Vemula Prashanth Reddy, MLAs and MLCs apart from Chief Secretary SK Joshi. TRS party working president and MLA KT Rama Rao and senior party leader K Keshava Rao were also present.
The CM after the Puja reached Errum Manzil hillock for laying the foundation stone for new Legislature complex. Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, vice-chairman of the Legislative Council Nethi Vidya Sagar and others were present.
Earlier in the day, BJP workers staged protests against the demolition of an existing secretariat building complex for construction of a brand new one. Party workers and MLC N Ramchander Rao were taken into custody as they attempted to stage a protest.
He tweeted: "Arrested by OU PS while proceeding to secretariat to protest against the demolition of secretariat building & construction of new secretariat & assembly by spending crores while the state is reeling under debt. An Undeclared Emergency @BJP4Telangana @BJP4India @JPNadda @AmitShah..(sic)" In another tweet earlier, he alleged there was no democracy in Telangana.
The existing Secretariat was located on 25.5 acres of land and various offices were located in 10 blocks. Of the 10 buildings, Sarvahitha, constructed by Nizams, was in a dilapidated condition. There is no heritage tag for this building. The remaining blocks were built without following safety norms, and proper ventilation was not available. Hence, the state government decided to construct a new single Secretariat building.
Currently, the A, B, C and D blocks are spread over 35,818 sq m, while the J, K, L and H (North and South) blocks occupy 49,342 sq m. In the new Secretariat building, the government is contemplating having a carpet area of 6 lakh sq ft.
Until NT Rama Rao, all CMs used the Sarvahitha building. Later, when M Chenna Reddy was CM, he shifted to C Block, considering the Vastu. During N Chandrababu Naidu's regime, A, D and H blocks were constructed. The old H Block, constructed by Nizams, was demolished during Naidu's regime. The old D Block, also constructed by Nizams, was razed down too. Now, all 10 blocks will be demolished. The Secretariat offices will be shifted to the Burgula Ramakrishna Rao Bhavan, CID office, IDC office and to HoDs from July.
The Andhra Pradesh government which was allocated four blocks in the Secretariat complex post bifurcation, returned them to Telangana government last week, paving way for construction of a new Secretariat.