Post clearance from the high court for construction of a new secretariat, the Telangana government started the demolition of the old secretariat building. However, days after giving its green signal, the high court put a pause over the demolition works due to a lack of permissions from concerned departments. The court directed the government not to carry out demolition works until proper permission was granted.
The demolition of old secretariat buildings in Telangana had been taken up suddenly on midnight of July 6 and not a single person was being allowed near the secretariat where the demolition work was taken place. Media persons who wanted to capture the demolitions visuals were also not allowed. All the closed-circuit cameras near the secretariat had also been switched off. The process of the demolition went swiftly until the high court stalled the works on technical grounds.
Expressing doubts about the secretariat demolition, Opposition parties have asked the government why they are maintaining secrecy over the exercise. The Congress party claimed that the government was hunting old Nizam's 'hidden treasure' under the secretariat due to which the government was maintaining the high secrecy over the move.
TPCC Working President, Malkajgiri MP Revanth Reddy requested HC Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh to constitute a committee in order to probe this matter. Speaking to News18, Reddy asked why Chief Minister KCR had started the demolition works at midnight. "Why didn't they allow even mediapersons and blocked the 2km radiation around the secretariat? We probed further over all these questions then realized that treasury hunt was going on," said the Congress MP.
"Earlier, Archaeology and NMDC officials had found caves near G Block in 2016. As soon as they found the caves, immediately, the government stopped the digging. And Chief Minister KCR had taken decision to demolish the old building. Several history buffs believed that there is an underground vault beneath some blocks of the Old Secretariat, particularly the G Block. Government should allow Heritage activist to find the legacy of the buildings," said Reddy.
The G Block of Secretariat, which is in a dilapidated condition, was once known as Saifabad Palace and belongs to Nizams of Hyderabad state. The building was built in 1888 during the reign of sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, Asaf Jah VI Sir Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, who used the palace as his office. Many Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh discharged their duties from the building.
Bankers which were built during World War II were also found near the Secretariat in 2016. "We also have doubts that there might be something under the G Block buildings as all were constructed in the 18th century. Before demolishing this kind of historic building, the government should call all heritage activists and allow them to find the historical shreds of evidences. But unfortunately, that didn't happen here. The state government had started the demolition work at midnight. How could they demolish an 18th-century building without taking the options of Archaeology, NMDC officials and heritage activists? The government should allow us to find the truths," heritage activist Anuradha Reddy told News18.
Meanwhile, the episode of the treasury hunt has taken everyone by surprise across the state. Doubts risen against the government over the secrecy maintained on the demolition also led to several speculations and rumours. The talk of the hidden treasure has generated a lot of curiosity among the public.