Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday directed the engineers working on construction of new building for the state Secretariat to speed up the work.
He visited the site and inspected the progress of construction works. KCR, as Rao is popularly known, went around and visited every nook and corner and interacted with the engineers on the site and representatives of working agency.
The CM instructed them to speed up the works and to maintain the highest quality standards in construction.
KCR visited the construction sites of the main entrance, other gates and main building complex. He also examined the designs.
The new Secretariat complex is the dream project of the Chief Minister and he is taking keen interest in its construction.
He had already directed that the new complex should be constructed in such way that it should enhance the prestige of Telangana and has all the necessary facilities and utilities that are require for an administrative centre.
He wants the complex to reflect the Telangana culture and prestige. “At the same time it should have all the facilities. Along with the Chief Minister, Ministers, Chief Secretary and all the Secretaries should discharge their duties and function from there,” he had said.
KCR, who became the first Chief Minister of Telangana after successfully leading the movement for separate state, wants to make sure that it became the pride and icon of the country’s youngest state.
KCR, who finalised the design of the new complex, directed the developers that the building should be robust and should last for 100 years.
Hyderabad-based Satyavani Projects and Consultants and Chennai-based Oscar and Ponni Architects prepared the design, while infrastructure development company Shapoorji Pallonji Group is constructing the new integrated secretariat complex.
It was in October last year that the company bagged the construction contract of the Rs 617 crore complex by outbidding Larsen & Toubro Ltd.
The state government sanctioned Rs. 617 crore for the construction on September 10 last year. Subsequently, tenders were invited on e-procurement platform.
The contractor, which started the work in November, has been given 12 months to build the complex and handover it to the government.
The new complex, with five domes in the central part, will have six lakh square feet built-up area and it will be 278 feet tall.
Earlier this month, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) gave environmental clearance for the project.
Construction of an ultra modern integrated complex for the secretariat has been KCR’s dream for more than five years.
He initially wanted to build a swanky complex on Bison Polo and Gymkhana grounds in Secunderabad but gave up the plans after the Centre reportedly refused to hand over the defence land.
His plans had also faced strong resistance from opposition parties, environmentalists, sportspersons and others concerned over the city losing a key lung space.
Some critics have flayed KCR for planning new building due to “bad vastu” of existing Secretariat, which houses the seat of governance.
Vastu is an ancient system of architecture that KCR fervently subscribes to for wellness and success.
KCR, however, told the Assembly in 2017 that vaastu was not the only reason for going for a new building. He claimed that among all the states in the country, the Secretariat of Telangana was the worst.
He contended that having the offices of all ministers, secretaries, heads of departments in an integrated complex will facilitate coordinated functioning of the government and help the people.
He subsequently decided to build the new complex after demolishing the old structures. On June 27, 2019 he laid the foundation stone for the new complex.
The opposition parties and some heritage activists moved the court to prevent demolition of the old structures including a heritage building.
The High Court had ruled that the construction of a new secretariat is a policy decision and it can’t interfere with it.
The government started demolition of existing buildings on July 7. It razed all 10 blocks including a building constructed in 1888 by the ruler of erstwhile Hyderabad State.