Three days after the state government began demolishing secretariat buildings to construct a new one at the same site, the Telangana High Court today issued an interim stay on knocking them down till Monday.
A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy, was hearing a petition filed by PL Vishweshwar Rao and Dr Cheruku Sudhakar.
The petitioners alleged that demolishing the 10 block secretariat complex of approximately 10 lakh square feet was being done without following due procedure of law.
The government's move is against the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules 2016, the Provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 and provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, among other laws, the petitioners have alleged.
The court ordered the state government to file its reply.
The K Chandrashekhar Rao government began razing the secretariat building complex on July 7, days after the High Court dismissed a bunch of PILs challenging the state's decision to construct a new complex by demolishing the existing one.
The petitioners alleged the demolition of the existing building is an "arbitrary action" by the state government in a pandemic situation, and deprives five lakh people of the surrounding areas from getting clean air.
On June 29, the High Court dismissed a bunch of PILs challenging the state's decision to construct a new secretariat complex by demolishing the existing one. After the court cleared the decks for the construction of the new secretariat, the demolition of the old secretariat building complex began and the foundation stone for the new one was laid on June 27, 2019.
The state government had earlier indicated that the new secretariat, to come up in about seven lakh square feet, would cost Rs 400 crore and it had decided to equip the new one with state-of-the-art connectivity and other features.