No bar on designing, budgeting for new Secretariat building: Telangana HC

The Telangana High Court.

The Telangana High Court.  

No further steps taken by the government as matter is sub-judice, says Addl. Advocate General

The State government is at liberty to go ahead with the works relating to designing of the proposed new Secretariat building and estimation of the cost, the Telangana High Court said on Monday.

No order staying the designing of new Secretariat building was passed by the HC, noted a division bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy. Hearing a batch of PIL pleas challenging the government’s decision to construct a new Secretariat, the bench made it clear that it had only asked the government not to pull down the existing Secretariat complex.

When the petitions came up for hearing on Monday, the bench sought to know from the government if designs for the new Secretariat were finalised and the budget estimates were completed. The Additional Advocate General J. Ramchander Rao informed the HC that government had not taken further steps over construction of the new Secretariat since the matter was sub-judice with the PIL pleas pending.

The CJ said that the pleas could not be adjudicated unless the government spells its ideas on the designs and budget estimates of Secretariat project. Mr. Rao explained that the government was of the view that the money spent on designs of the building would go waste if the petitions were eventually allowed and hence no further steps were taken. There was no bar on the government to explore designs for the proposed new Secretariat building and finalising budget for its construction, the bench observed. The AAG said that the government contemplated creation of nearly 8 lakh to 9 lakh square feet of office space in the new Secretariat building. It would cost close to ₹400 crore, he said.

However, the bench wanted to know how would the budget estimates can be made without having a design in first place. If plans and designs were made available, proposals could be received to construct the same with lesser cost, the bench said. Observing that a counter affidavit filed by the government did not have precise details of its plans on the proposed building, the bench instructed it to file a detailed affidavit on the matter.

The pleas were posted for hearing again on February 12.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 8:29:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/no-bar-on-designing-budgeting-for-new-secretariat-building-hc/article30668145.ece

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