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HC stays demolition of Secretariat, Errum Manzil

HC stays demolition of Secretariat, Errum Manzil
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The Division Bench of the Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Shameem Akhtar on Monday directed the...

Hyderabad: The Division Bench of the Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Shameem Akhtar on Monday directed the State government not to demolish the existing Secretariat buildings and the Errum Manzil in order to construct a new Secretariat and Assembly till further orders.

The court heard a public interest litigation petition at length filed by Telangana Jana Samithi vice-president Prof P L Visweswara Rao challenging the demolition of buildings. Advocate Chikkudu Prabhakar submitted his arguments before the court.

The bench asked the government counsel whether the counter was filed as was directed by the court. The counsel sought 15 days more time for filing a detailed counter.

The bench sought the reason for the delay. The court also heard a batch of petitions against the State government's plans to construct new Secretariat complex by demolishing the existing structures and build new Assembly building by razing heritage building Errum Manzil, the court asked the government not to take any further action till further orders.

The government had sought 15 days time to file its counter affidavit to the petitions. However, with the court directing it not to take up demolition till further orders, the government conveyed that it would file the counter later in the day.

The opposition parties and various non-political groups have opposed the government's plans, calling it waste of public money.

Descendants of Nawab Fakrul Mulk, a noble of erstwhile Hyderabad State, have also opposed the plans to demolish Errum Manzil, a family palace built by him about 150 years ago.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on June 27 laid the foundation stone for both the buildings.

While the new Secretariat complex will be built at a cost of Rs 400 crore by demolishing existing structures near Hussain Sagar lake, the Assembly building will be constructed by razing Errum Manzil, which currently houses office of Roads and Buildings Department.

Assembly building will be constructed at a cost Rs 100 crore.

Opposing the government plans, the opposition parties said this would waste the public money as the existing buildings are stable and continue to serve the purpose.

In a similar development, one more public interest litigation petition against the construction was filed by social activists Paadi Malayya. After hearing the advocate for the petitioner at length, the Division Bench posted the matter after two weeks for further hearing.

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