Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Thursday set the ball rolling for construction of grand Secretariat and Legislative Assembly buildings with ground-breaking ceremonies.The new Rs 400 crore Secretariat buildings would come up in the existing complex housing several blocks, near the picturesque Hussain Sagar lake. Rao rarely visited the Secretariat since he became the Chief Minister of Telangana in 2014 and functioned from his official residence-cum-camp office; the Opposition has often accused him of not visiting the Secretariat due to ‘Vaastu’ reasons. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: ShahThe Chief Minister had earlier said the present Secretariat complex is congested which made it difficult for fire tenders to move in the event of a fire accident. Noting that the legislative council building is situated at a distance from the Assembly building in the existing complex, Rao recently said the path between them is in a zig-zag manner which made it difficult for the Chief Minister, ministers and others to move. Rao performed ‘Bhumi Puja’ for the construction of new Secretariat buildings — which he earlier said would have five to six lakh sq ft space, near the D block in the complex in the presence of his cabinet colleagues and officials. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey ColonyLater, Rao laid the foundation stone for a brand new Rs 100 crore legislature buildings complex at the Errum Manzil complex, a Nizam era building, in the heart of the city. The move to construct new Secretariat and Legislature complex has come in for severe criticism from opposition parties who have said it is a waste of public money and the government should first focus on repairing buildings of state-run hospitals, social welfare hostels and completing other developmental programmes. The descendants of late Nawab Fakhrul Mulk Bhahadur had earlier appealed to the Telangana government not to demolish the 19th century Errum Manzil palace here, built by the eminent Hyderabad nobleman, for the construction of the legislature complex. Rao has appointed a cabinet sub-committee headed by Roads and Buildings Minister V Prashant Reddy to study whether to demolish all existing buildings in the Secretariat or not. Noted architect Hafeez Contractor had submitted designs for construction of the Secretariat. Some other architects have voluntarily sent designs to the government. The opposition BJP MLC N Ramchander Rao Thursday alleged he was not allowed by police to organise a planned protest against the construction of new Secretariat buildings. “If protest is not allowed, what is the state of democracy in Telangana. There is an undeclared emergency in Telangana”, the BJP leader told reporters. The TRS government did not take steps to repair buildings of state-run hospitals and social welfare hostels but wasted public money on construction of new buildings by demolishing existing ones, Ramchander Rao alleged. BJP’s lone MLA in Telangana T Raja Singh said: “Why KCR-led TRS government is very much interested in destroying a heritage building and constructing a new Secretariat which we already have. Probably he is doing for his/party commission cut from construction companies/developers”. State Congress vice-president and former MP Mallu Ravi said the TRS government should first complete the construction of two bedroom houses for poor (a TRS election promise), irrigation projects and rural roads before taking up construction of new Secretariat and legislature. “What is the need for you? You have buildings that met the requirements of undivided Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra Pradesh government has handed over buildings in its control (to Telangana government),” he said. Dismissing the opposition criticism, ruling TRS MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy earlier said the government decides what is good for the people as people gave mandate to the party. “These (buildings) also, we will definitely build in a way that is useful to people following the formation of separate Telangana and reflected the Telangana’s pride. (We) will remove which are not necessary and build new (ones),” he told PTI recently.