Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. (Photo: Twitter)
HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao will inaugurate the newly-constructed Telangana Secretariat on February 17 on the occasion of his birthday. The CM named the new Secretariat after Dr B.R. Ambedkar, the Father of the Indian Constitution, in September 2022.
Touted as the CM's 'dream project', the new Secretariat with a built-up area of nearly 7 lakh sft was constructed at a cost of over Rs 600 crore with all modern amenities.
Official sources said that the CM will start functioning from the new Secretariat soon after the inauguration on February 17. The new Secretariat has seven floors (Ground+Six floors) and the CM will occupy the top floor. The CM is likely to sign the first file appointing a new PRC (pay revision commission) to hike salaries and pensions for state government employees and pensioners, after taking charge in the new Secretariat building. The term of the present PRC is set to end on June 30 this year and new pay scales should come into force from July.
The CM hardly visited Secretariat after assuming office in June 2014 citing 'vastu' issues in the old building. He worked from old CM's camp office in Begumpet. He visited Secretariat only a few times to hold cabinet meetings and departmental review meetings between June 2014 and November 2016. He avoided Secretariat completely after he moved into the newly constructed "Pragathi Bhavan" in November 2016, the CM's official residence-cum-camp office in Begumpet. The CM last worked from Secretariat in November 2016.
The CM decided to demolish old Secretariat building and construct a new one in it's place with all modern amenities. The demolition works started in July 2020 and the cabinet approved the construction of new Secretariat in August 2020.
The CM laid the foundation for the construction of new Secretariat in June 2019. But several petitions were filed in the High Court against the government's decision to demolish old Secretariat who argued that it amounts to a wastage of public money. After a year-long legal battle, the High Court dismissed the petitions in June 2020 and allowed the government to demolish the old Secretariat and construct a new one in its place.
The demolition works and transportation of debris went on for five months from July to December 2020. The construction works began in December 2020. The target was to complete the project in a year by December 2021, but the works got delayed due to Covid.
Roads and Buildings minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy said that the construction works have been completed and finishing works have been going, which will be completed by this month-end.
However, official sources said that only CM's chamber and CS's chamber are fully ready and it will take two more months for all departments to move to the new building. The Secretariat is likely to become fully operational only after Ugadi by March-end.
The CS, officials and staff are working from temporary secretariat at BRKR Bhavan since August 2019 while ministers and several other departments are working from various government buildings located across the city.