India

SC dismisses plea against demolition of Telangana Secretariat

Hyderabad, July 17 (IANS) The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition filed by Telangana Congress leader T. Jeevan Reddy to challenge a High Court verdict that refused to direct the state government against the demolition of the old Secretariat buildings and construction of a new complex.

The apex court made it clear that the construction of the new Secretariat is totally a prerogative of the state government and it would not interfere in the policy matter.

Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) termed the Supreme Court's verdict a “slap on the faces of those opposing the construction of the new Secretariat”.

Jeevan Reddy, a member of the Telangana Legislative Council, had challenged the June 29 order of the High Court.

Jeevan Reddy and others, in their petitions in the High Court, had contended that the government was wasting public money on building the new complex when the existing buildings are structurally sound and can cater to the needs of the state administrative headquarters.

The government started demolition of the existing buildings on July 7.

However, the High Court on July 10 stayed the demolition on two petitions, alleging that the work was taken up without obtaining permission from the authorities concerned.

The petitioners had complained that the demolition of 10 blocks of the Secretariat building occupying 10 lakh square feet was done without following the procedure laid down under the Demolition and Construction Rules.

The petitioners said that during the existing COVID-19 situation the demolition will impact and aggravate respiratory problems in people living in the areas surroundings the building.

The High Court has extended the stay twice and asked the state to clarify if the demolition needs clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

–IANS

ms/tsb

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