Uttam asks KCR to drop new Secretariat plan

  • In an open letter, he says it’s waste of public money

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Thursday wrote an open letter to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao asking him to drop the plans to shift the State Secretariat.

“Shifting of Telangana Secretariat is an unwise and irrational decision. The decision to demolish the present Secretariat  and construct a new complex at a huge cost of hundreds of crores of rupees is not a judicious decision and is a mere waste of precious taxpayers’ money,” the TPCC chief said in his letter to the Chief Minister.

He pointed out that H-Block (South and North Blocks) was constructed as recently as 2008 and is in a very new condition. This has new and spacious office accommodation. The D-Block was constructed in 2003, A-Block in 1998, J-Block in 1990, L-Block in 1981, C & B blocks in 1978 and K-Block in 1975. The only really old block in the Secretariat is the G-Block, he said.

The TPCC chief said it was really unfortunate that the Chief Minister has cited “vaasthu defects” as the reason for demolishing a fully functional Secretariat with all buildings having many decades of life left and planning plush buildings at a cost of Rs 350 crores. “In this age and time, spending hundreds of crores of rupees of precious public money because of vaasthu reasons is not justified,” he said.

Further, he said, that it was astonishing that the Advocate General has submitted to the High Court that the present Secretariat complex does not meet fire safety regulations. “Is it possible that you as the Chief Minister and your minister colleagues were operating in the present Secretariat without fire safety regulations being met? Is it also possible that the CM of AP, Chandrababu Naidu, who has Z category security was operating from the present Secretariat complex till a couple of weeks back from buildings without fire safety regulations? Is it possible that former CMs Kiran Kumar Reddy, K Rosaiah, Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, Chandrababu  Naidu, N T Rama Rao and all their minister colleagues were operating from buildings without fire safety regulations?” asked Uttam Kumar Reddy.

He said that the State Government’s stand in the High Court has raised many suspicions among the people of Telangana.

The Congress leader said that with the shifting of AP Secretariat to Vijayawada and vacation of the buildings in the Secretariat complex, there was  more than enough space now to accommodate all departments outside the Secretariat to be brought into the present complex. Thereby all departments and sections of the Telangana Government can be brought into a single complex without spending a single rupee.

“It is sad and ironic that your government does not release overdue amounts for farmers’ loan waiver scheme or students’ fee reimbursement scheme, but indulges in such wasteful and unnecessary spending. As the first Chief Minister of Telangana State, we expect that you will conduct all matters like a statesman. The voice of the opposition parties, members of civil society, NGOs and the lay public must be heard by you and the move for a new Secretariat building dropped forthwith,” the TPCC chief said.

–NSS

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