Hyderabad: Long considered the heart of state administration, the glory and importance of the Secretariat is gradually being eclipsed by the Pragathi Bhavan, the residence-cum-camp office of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
In the past, the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues used to come to the Secretariat every day and officials were always on the alert.
After bifurcation of the state, Mr Rao used to come to the Secretariat daily. He later started coming to the Secretariat only to chair Cabinet meetings.
After inauguration of Pragathi Bhavan, even the Cabinet meetings are being held at the Pragathi Bhavan and the CM has stopped coming to the Secretariat altogether.
The ministers too are rarely seen at the Secretariat; most of them spend a good part of their time in their districts or touring their constituencies.
Some ministers do come to the Secretariat when in Hyderabad, while others conduct review meetings with officials at their residence in the city.
Mr Rao holds review meetings at the Pragathi Bhavan regularly and secretaries and other officials are spending more and more time there than in the Secretariat.
Ministers Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Nayini Narasimha Reddy and Mohd. Mahmood Ali are the most regular visitors to the Secretariat, while A. Indrakaran Reddy and Etala Rajendar visit the Secretariat whenever they are the city.
Energy minister G. Jagdeesh Reddy too visits the Secretariat when he is in Hyderabad, but sometimes operates from his residence in the city.
The ministers are seen in the Secretariat whenever a Cabinet subcommittee meeting is held, but some have not been seen in the Secretariat for months together.
The absence of the Chief Minister and ministers from the Secretariat has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of visitors.
Earlier, the Secretariat used to buzz with activity, but the visitors are now dwindling since they get standard replies from the staff that the ministers are on tour and the senior officials are at the Pragathi Bhavan, attending review meetings....