Hyderabad: A portion of the elevation of the Telangana Assembly building collapsed on Tuesday afternoon and fell into the premises. The 115-year old Assembly building is a heritage structure. Fortunately, no one was injured as the debris fell into the empty garden area in the vicinity of the Assembly.
According to security personnel who were on duty at the Assembly premises, the elevation on the east side of the Assembly building collapsed, with a loud noise. The side portion of the elevation of the office of the Government Chief Whip Rega Kanta Rao was also damaged.
Security personnel, who heard the noise, rushed to the spot to check if anyone was in the vicinity. However, they found no one was injured in the incident.
Though officials are taking up periodic repair and renovation works, the incidents of building developing cracks and some portions of the building collapsing are being witnessed frequently, sending shockwaves among Assembly and security staff working in the premises.
Legislature secretary V. Narasimha Charyulu, said, “the main building structure is strong and there is no need to worry. Since the building is over 100 years old, incidents like these are common. The engineering wing of the Assembly takes up periodic inspections of the entire building premises and takes up repair works on a priority basis.”
However, Tuesday’s incident has left Assembly officials worried as the Budget session of the Telangana Assembly is expected to commence in the second week of March. During the session, the premises will be filled with ministers, MLAs, MLCs, bureaucrats, media personnel, and other visitors.
The Telangana Assembly was built using public funds by the citizens of Hyderabad, who raised money to build it, to mark the 40th birthday of Nizam Mahboob Ali Khan. The construction began during the reign of the sixth Nizam Mahaboob Ali Khan in 1905 and was completed in December, 1913. A new building was built in 1980 in order to accommodate legislative offices of ministers and political parties.
As the building was becoming older and posing an existential threat, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar decided to construct a new Assembly at Errum Manzil, at a cost of `100 crore. He even laid the foundation stone for its construction in June, 2019, along with a new Secretariat complex.
However, several petitions were filed in the High Court against the demolition of the 150-year old Errum Manzil to pave the way for constructing a new assembly building. Heritage lovers also went to court against the demolition of the secretariat.
While the High Court cleared the demolition of the secretariat, it issued stay orders on the demolition of Errum Manzil in September 2019, which are still in force. Due to this, the government could not start construction works for a new assembly building so far.