Hyderabad: A petition against Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's Rs 100 crore plan to build a new Vastu-compliant secretariat was heard today by the Hyderabad High Court that has asked the government to respond within 10 days.
- Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao plans to build new secretariat
- Vastu-ready secretariat needed for state's prosperity, he had said
- Critics say the plan would waste Rs 100 crore public money
The petition, filed by a Congress leader Jeevan Reddy, says there is no need to demolish the existing structure and make a new building spending crores in public money as the chief minister plans.
Vastu is an ancient system of architecture that Mr Rao fervently subscribes to for wellness and success. He has argued that the present secretariat, which seats the state government, has "bad Vastu."
"History is proof that no one has prospered because of this. Let Telangana not suffer," the Chief Minister said recently at a press conference.
Plans include demolishing the secretariat - some parts of which are 130 years old and dilapidated, but others were built recently - in the ongoing Hindu month of Karthika that is considered auspicious. The new building will be designed by famous architect Hafez Contractor.
''KCR promised to reconstruct Telangana, but is this what he meant? Ever since this new government came, all we have seen is excessive focus on religious pomposity, donation to rich temples that don't need it and spending crores on religious beliefs of the chief minister like yagnas and vaasthu. Where is the focus on real issues?'' asked Padmaja Shaw of the Telangana Democratic Forum.
The Congress' Shabbir Ali said, "He can Vastu-correct his home and farmhouse spending his money. Not a public office, spending public money."
Amid the storm of criticism, the state government has now argued that the secretariat buildings are not fire-safe and that is why the plan to demolish. But critics ask why not just improve fire safety in the existing buildings.
Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh had spent Rs 26 crore on renovating his offices in Hyderabad in 2014-15. None of these offices are being used currently as the staff has been shifted to temporary offices near Amaravati, where a new Andhra Pradesh capital is being built.
Currently, Andhra and Telangana, which was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in in 2014, share Hyderabad as a capital and can do so for eight more years.