ANDHRA PRADESH

Block housing CM's chamber to be demolished

Hyderabad Oct. 28. The `G' block in the Secretariat from where many Chief Ministers such as N. T. Rama Rao and K. Vijayabhaskara Reddy ran the Government has finally been marked for demolition.

The Government earlier wanted to retain this high-roofed building constructed by the Nizams, treating it as a heritage piece, but it changed its mind in view of the building's dilapidated condition raising fears of parts of the structure coming off.

The upper portion in the pressroom has peeled off due to corrosion. At one point of time, iron girders had to be erected to buttress even the Chief Minister's chamber.

Secretariat maintenance staff began the dismantling work symbolically by pulling down the parapet wall bordering the flight of steps on the southern side. A senior maintenance officer said once the building goes the land on which it stands at present would serve as lung space.

The Nizam had constructed the building for residential purpose. However, the royal family did not occupy as a monitor lizard was sighted there, which was considered inauspicious.

The demolition displaces three Ministers, D. Sivarama Raju (Endowments), B. V. Mohan Reddy (Municipal Administration) and A. Uma Madhava Reddy (Mines and Geology) as well as the Chief Electoral Officer, the Commissioner for Enquiries etc. They are being shifted to the `D' and other blocks.

The old `H' block is also being pulled down to make way for a multi-storeyed building.

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