HYDERABAD: In a setback to the state government's ambitious new secretariat project, the Telangana High Court on Friday directed the government to halt the ongoing demolition of secretariat buildings till Monday.
The court directed the government to file a counter-affidavit and also to furnish the demolition plan and approvals taken from the pollution control board.
In this context, the Advocate General representing the government has told the court that more than half of the buildings were demolished. The court has postponed the hearing to Monday, i.e., on July 13.
The court passed interim orders in response to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Professor PL Vishweshwar Rao seeking to stop the ongoing demolition of the old secretariat buildings in Hyderabad. The petitioner stated that the government is demolishing the secretariat buildings flouting COVID-19 norms. The petitioner also contended that the demolition of the buildings causes pollution and that the demolition of buildings is being carried out without considering the norms of municipality solid waste management.
There are A B C D E F G H I J K blocks as part of the old secretariat. Of them, C, H and G were totally demolished.
The demolition drive to raze the 132-year-old secretariat was started on Tuesday under the aegis of the roads and buildings department. As a precautionary measure, the police had sealed all the roads leading to the secretariat area.
The demolition began after the High Court has recently cleared the proposal of building a new secretariat complex. Last week, the high court had dismissed all the petitions filed by the activists against demolition.