The TRS government in Telangana plans to build a grand new secretariat building complex here and it has requested the defence ministry to hand over land under its possession for the purpose. The main opposition Congress and BJP, however, criticised the move, dubbing it as a waste of public money. The state government proposes to build the new secretariat at Bison Polo grounds in Secunderabad here which is currently under the possession of Defence authorities. Arun Jaitley, who was holding the charge of defence ministry prior to the recent Union cabinet reshuffle, had agreed to the request to hand over the Bison Polo grounds when Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao met him earlier this month. “Jaitely has informed the CM that the Centre is ready to hand over the Bison Polo grounds land for the construction of a new state secretariat as well as lands required for the expansion of Medchal (highway) and Rajiv Rahadari (road),” a release from the chief minister’s office said on September 2.
However, Deputy Leader of Congress in Telangana Legislative Council, P Sudhakar Reddy, wondered why a new secretariat is needed when its building complex already exists. “The Andhra Pradesh administration has already shifted to Amaravati. So, they (Telangana government) can renovate the exiting secretariat. Money can be saved. As such, the implementation of promises made by TRS is poor,” Reddy said. In 2014, the existing secretariat buildings complex was divided between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as Hyderabad is the shared capital city for 10 years, as per the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act.
The Congress leader also said that the state government can develop sports infrastructure in the Bison Polo grounds and let the lung space remain, instead of some private sports academies in the city getting promoted. Voicing BJP’s opposition to the proposal, party spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said it is a wasteful expenditure to build a new secretariat. “This is a wasteful expenditure. The state has all the administrative infrastructure. This shows the lop-sided priorities of this government,” Rao said. There is no credibility to what the state government is saying on the issue as no formal allotment of land has taken place so far, he alleged.
Dismissing the opposition’s criticism, TRS leader in Lok Sabha, A P Jitender Reddy, said the move to build the new secretariat is a part of the state government’s plans to develop Hyderabad as a grand city. “What we want to do is, we want to build a proper, good Hyderabad, which would be an elegant Hyderabad. It should be a role model for the complete country. When we are trying to do something good for the people, they (opposition) are unnecessarily coming in between,” Reddy said. “When we are attracting the world, we should have these type of monuments,” the senior TRS leader said.