With funds squeeze, should Telangana splurge on a new Secretariat now?

With K Chandrasekhar Rao admitting in so many words that Telangana along with the Centre is going through a “severe financial crisis”, the question being asked if whether this is the right time to splurge on a brand new Secretariat and Assembly. 

“I regret that I am presenting the state budget for 2019-20 in the House when both the Centre and State are going through a severe financial crisis. We have to tread carefully and cautiously during such a testing time. We cannot go beyond certain limits,” KCR said while presenting his budget speech on Monday.

The government had estimated a sum of Rs 500 crore to build the two iconic structures but it is expected that the final expenditure when the interiors of each office are designed, will easily cross the Rs 1000 crore figure. But the state budget did not make any provisions for the construction because the final estimates and the designs are not ready. Moreover, a PIL has been filed in the Telangana High court against the government’s proposal to bring down the existing Secretariat structure. 

When the CM himself has said “we cannot go beyond certain limits”, should the Telangana government which has been forced to trim its budget by Rs 36000 crore, incur an expenditure deemed by most as unnecessary. All opposition parties have opposed the decision and heritage activists are up in arms against the proposal to demolish a heritage palace to build a new Assembly premises.

But then, most offices have been moved out of the Secretariat to temporary workplaces in other government buildings. With space constraint, it is not easy to work from those places for very long. 

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