Protests by hundreds of Secunderabad citizens over the past week seem to have paid off, as KCR clarified that the state’s new Secretariat would come up at the Bison Polo Ground and not at the Parade Ground.
The group of visitors, which includes walkers, joggers and people who use the ground for exercising and sports, had been protesting, raising slogans, forming human chains, and even releasing black balloons.
Assuring citizens, KCR said, “Neither the TRS government nor KCR will touch Parade Ground. It will continue to remain as an open space for walkers, sportsmen, children etc.”
However, when reporters pointed out that the issue came to light after a press release by his office, that he had asked for Parade Ground, KCR called it a ‘mistake’ and reportedly deflected follow up questions.
The Chief Minister went on to add that he had asked for land in Gymkhana Ground and Bison Polo Ground, for constructing a Secretariat, Legislature and a cultural centre on the premises.
He pointed out that the Bison Polo Ground was not even being used by the army.
“In fact, we are eyeing 55 acres of land for the new Secretariat. This will include 33 acres of Bison Polo grounds and 22 acres of adjacent Gymknana Grounds.We have received in-principal approval from the Union Defence Ministry for being handed over the Bison Polo grounds…We plan to build a world class Secretariat, a joint legislature building and Kala Bharati with a sprawling garden for state celebrations. The structures would be iconic,” KCR was quoted as saying.
The two grounds are currently under the control of the Local Military Authority (LMA) under the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Last week, over 1,000 people had gathered at the Parade Ground and signed a signature protest.
This was followed by a massive human chain connecting the two ends of the ground, on the next day.
On Tuesday, protesters released black balloons in the air, while Wednesday saw them wearing wrist bands in solidarity with the movement.