Search on for new Assembly, Council buildings

The Legislature Secretariat is hit by bifurcation blues now. The onerous task of identifying buildings to house the two Legislative Assemblies and Council is giving jitters to the officials.

While the officials are racing against time to meet the June 2 deadline -- the appointed day for creation of Telangana State -- it is also the day on which the notification for constitution of the new Assemblies will be issued.

Sources told The Hindu that the old and new Assembly buildings could be used after the new Council of Ministers of the respective governments decide to hold the first meetings. The present Assembly and Council buildings are likely to go to Telangana State. “The old Assembly building can be used by Andhra Pradesh, but alternative arrangement has to be made for the Upper House,” sources said.

Heads of various departments are busy identifying the assets and available buildings under the Secretariat jurisdiction. The biggest challenge is to provide accommodation to Ministers and their subordinate staff on the Assembly/Council premises. Finding offices for 18 Legislature and Standing Committees -- each for the two States -- is also not easy.

Presently, 550 staff -- both regular as well as outsourcing -- are working in various sections. An additional 250 employees will be required to overcome the shortage. Providing residential accommodation to legislators is also another worry for the officials. The two blocks in New MLAs’ Quarters at Hyderguda have 113 flats while 145 quarters are in Adarshnagar, besides another 26 in Punjagutta Officers’ Colony. A senior official said unless construction of 120 flats at Hyderguda is fast-tracked, shortage of accommodation will be severely felt.

Amid all this rush, officials can take solace from the fact that the library and research wing will be retained as a single entity for 10 years. “All the digitised speeches and other material will be divided among the two State Assemblies and Councils,” sources said.