Hyderabad: Efforts by the chief minister of India’s Telangana state, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, to do away with historic buildings and heritage structures and make way for new buildings continue to trigger controversies.
After historical buildings like Osmania Hospital, the state secretariat and Irum Manzil palace, the century-old Hyderabad High Court building has joined the list of important offices that the KCR government wants to shift to a new location.
This comes as plans to demolish the old buildings of the state secretariat, the 150-year-old Irum Manzil palace and the magnificent structure of Osmana Hospital are facing stiff resistance from various quarters.
But the state government has stepped up its efforts to relocate the state High Court from its present location on the banks of river Musi.
Infuriated by reports that the government was planning to shift the High Court to Budwel in the outskirts of Hyderabad, members of the legal fraternity have launched a “Save the High Court” campaign.
The Telangana High Court Advocates Association has convened an extraordinary general body meeting on Wednesday to discuss the issue and chalk out future course of action.
Apart from launching a signature campaign against any such move, the lawyers also held a protest demonstration on the High Court premises, arguing there was no need for shifting it to a new place.
“The present High Court [premises] is sufficient and spacious. After shifting of Andhra Pradesh’s High Court to Amaravati it has more space. There is no need for any new facility”, said V. Raghnath, a leading member of the ‘Save the High Court’ committee.
The lawyers were unhappy that the government was pressing ahead with its ideas without consulting stakeholders, he said.
“It is undemocratic and unjustified”, he added.
The lawyers were planning to include political parties (except the ruling TRS) and the other sections of society to intensify the movement.
The government had floated the idea of shifting the High Court to a new location when both the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Courts were functioning out of the same building leading to complaints of lack of space. However, the Centre finally accepted the long-pending demand of bifurcating the High Court and a new High Court was set up for the state of High Court in Amaravati.
The present sprawling and magnificent building on the banks of river Musi in Hyderabad was built in 1915 by the seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan to serve as the High Court of princely state of Hyderabad.
The imposing structure in red and white stone was built in Saracenic style as per the design prepared by Shankarlal of Jaipur and it was executed under the supervision of Chief Engineer Nawab Khan Bahadur Mirza Akbar Baig.
Apart from the lack of space with in the court premises, traffic congestion on the roads around the High Court building and difficulties faced by the judges in reaching the place were also sighted in support of idea of relocation.
However the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) strongly opposed it pointing out that High Court was only important official building left in the old city, across the river Musi.