Hyderabad, July 27 (IANS) The government of Telangana has completed 90 per cent of the demolition of the buildings of the old secretariat to build a new complex.
Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said on Monday that there would be an estimated 4,500 truck-loads of debris. So far 2,000 truckloads of debris have been removed while other works were going on.
This was the first official statement on the status of demolition which began amid tight security on July 7.
As a media channel had last week filed a petition in the High Court challenging the restrictions on media persons wanting to cover the demolition work, Roads and Buildings Minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy said on Monday that the government will take media persons in the evening to show them the demolition work and clearing of debris.
The government said it did not allow anyone into the premises as there was a danger of accidents happening while demolishing the high-rise buildings.
There are requests from the media representatives to allow them to report the demolition works. Based on these requests, the government has decided to allow the media representatives into the secretariat premises to cover the demolition works and clearing of the debris, the CMO said.
It quoted the minister as saying that the government will take media representatives to cover the demolition and removal of the debris works, as there are chances of any accident happening during the demolition works. He said Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar will take the media persons from BRK Bhavan, the temporary secretariat, to the demolition site.
Justice Challa Kodanda Ram of Telangana High Court on July 24 had directed the state government and the police not to interfere with the petitioner media channel or any other members concerned who are provided with access by the people of surrounding buildings near the secretariat.
The court observed that the state cannot regulate the affairs of private individuals as long as they conduct the affairs in a rightful manner.
The petitioner had complained that the government was threatening the neighbouring building owners not to provide access to any media persons.
The government started demolition of existing buildings on July 7, following the June 29 order of the High Court dismissing petitions challenging the government's decision to build a new complex when the existing buildings were structurally sound.
The High Court had ruled that the construction of a new secretariat is a policy decision and it can't interfere with it.
However, on the fresh petitions, the High Court on July 10 temporarily stayed the demolition work till July 16. The demolition resumed the same day after the court lifted the stay.
The government has demolished all 10 blocks including a building constructed in 1888 by the ruler of erstwhile Hyderabad State.
It was on June 27 last year that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao laid the foundation stone for the new secretariat complex to be built at a cost of Rs 400 crore.
He has directed the officials that the new secretariat building complex should be constructed in such a way that it should enhance the prestige of Telangana and have all the necessary facilities and utilities that are required for an administrative centre.