Hundreds form human chain to save Secunderabad’s Parade Ground

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Hundreds of regular morning walkers, including senior citizens, women and children, gathered at Secunderabad’s Parade Ground on Saturday, to form a human chain protesting the Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s decision to build a new Secretariat at the Parade Ground.

The ruling party has decided to build a new Secretariat at the Parade Ground, due to its ‘vastu dosha’ in the old building.

“Looks like the KCR government is following Vastu rules by building a new secretariat. The civil society should take this matter to the high court,” said Mohammed Jameel, a walker told Deccan Chronicle.

The ‘Save Parade Ground’ campaign entered the second day on Saturday. With slogans like ‘I’m with Parade Ground’, ‘Save Parade Ground’ and ‘We don’t want the Secretariat here’ , the group of regular visitors have decided to protest every day at the ground until the government changes its decision.

On Saturday at around 6.30 am, people from nearby localities like Begumpet, Secunderabad Cantonment, Habsiguda, Tarnaka and other areas were seen forming a human chain connecting the two ends of the ground.

“We have three-decade-old attachment with the Parade Ground and my entire family comes here for a morning walk. We fought with the Army when restrictions were imposed in 2014 on walkers at the ground and we won when the authorities relented and allowed us to utilize the place for morning exercises,“ K Venkat Ramana, a resident of R P Road in Secunderabad, told the Times of India.

The ground is reportedly the only place that  hosts Independence Day parade and Republic Day parade in the state capital.

Last month, Telangana CM, K Chandrasekhar Rao, had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to hand over the Parade ground, to the TRS government for the construction of a new Secretariat, for offices of all the departments which are now located at different parts of the city.

“This government has no knowledge about the historical relevance. On one hand, they are planning to demolish the Nizam era structures at (the) current secretariat, while on the other hand they are planning to occupy the land which had significance during the British era. While the entire Hyderabad province, which was under Nizam rule, merged into Indian Union after ‘operation Polo’ on September 17, 1948, Secunderbad Cantonment celebrated independence on 15 August 1947 at this very parade ground,” social activist and politician, Krishank told India Today.

On Friday, over 1,000 people had gathered at the ground and signed a signature protest— ‘Save Parade Grounds’.

“Already the city’s open space is shrinking, thanks to land sharks. This move will strip Hyderabad off the last of its open space. There is sufficient space in the present Secretariat, since offices belonging to Andhra Pradesh administration have shifted. Why does the government not make use of it, rather than building a new secretariat?” Mr S.S. Shetty, a regular walker told DC.

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