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Telangana Formation Day

Telangana’s new secretariat streamlines govt operations

Administration that was scattered hitherto started functioning under single roof since the inauguration of the new Secretariat in April

June 02, 2023 02:13 am | Updated 01:22 pm IST - HYDERABAD

The Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Telangana State Secretariat, in Hyderabad

The Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Telangana State Secretariat, in Hyderabad | Photo Credit: PTI

In the 10th year of its formation, Telangana has added another feather in its cap — the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Telangana State Secretariat, a state-of-the-art integrated complex with several facilities like seamless connectivity, spacious conference halls, and situated amid lush green surroundings.

The new complex, sprawling across 27.9 acres, has a built-up area of 8.58 lakh sq.ft. with office space for about 2,000 employees and is equipped with all facilities giving a comfortable accommodation for senior officials as well as lower level employees. Based on the design prepared by architecture firm Oscar and Ponni Architects, the new secretariat was constructed with an estimated ₹616 crore over a period of more than two years.

One key feature is the attendance of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who is making it a point to hold all important meetings at the new secretariat. For several years, all important meetings, including that of the State Cabinet, chaired by Mr.Rao were held at Pragati Bhavan, the office-cum-residence of the Chief Minister. Ministers too are holding regular reviews from their respective chambers in the new complex making it easier for officials at least to provide them with required information.

Inauguration of the new building provided much-needed respite to the official machinery that was shuttling between one office and another. Following the demolition of the old secretariat buildings, nine of them, the departments were functioning in a scattered manner as all of them could not be accommodated in the BRKR Bhavan located nearby. Ministers as well as senior secretaries were functioning from offices situated in different locations and people found it difficult to represent their grievances to the authorities concerned for time-bound redressal.

Making matters more complicated were the restrictions imposed on the entry into the makeshift secretariat as well as other offices denying people an opportunity to raise their issues. This was more so in the case of people coming from other districts who found it difficult to locate the government departments that were functioning from different locations.

Problems were also aired about the lack of coordination between the different departments post their shifting out of the old secretariat complex. While the movement of people was controlled to a large extent, officials too had their cup of woes as they faced problems in coming to the makeshift secretariat for attending important meetings convened on short notice as the BRKR Bhavan is situated in the heart of the city.

It is a different matter that the restrictions on entry into the secretariat are continuing even after a majority of these offices were shifted back to the new complex.

In the process, the State secretariat, hitherto a centralised point to access higher levels of administration with the presence of Ministers and senior officials at any given point in time, apparently lost its centrality because of the access-controlled entry into it.

It all started with the government’s decision to replace the existing secretariat complex, a complex of 10 blocks including one that was not in use, with a built-up area of 9.16 lakh sq.ft. One of the main reasons cited for the demolition was the frequent complaints over roof leakages, power short circuits, inadequate parking spaces, and absence of employee amenities. A cabinet sub-committee as well as a technical committee of engineers-in-chief which studied the facilities in the old complex too arrived at the conclusion that the old premises had no fire safety measures and proposals for its renovation to suit the requirements were found to be economically unviable.

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