Praja Bhavan to be official residence of Telangana’s Deputy CM

 The Jyotirao Phule Praja Bhavan will be the official residence of Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka.

The state government on Wednesday issued an order, allotting the Praja Bhavan to the Deputy Chief Minister, who holds the portfolios of finance & planning, and energy.

Praja Bhavan, which was known as Pragathi Bhavan till a few days ago, was the official residence of then Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Vikramarka, along with his family, is likely to shift to the building on Thursday.

A part of Praja Bhavan will continue to be used for Praja Vani twice a week. During the programme, ministers and officials receive applications from citizens about their problems.

After taking oath on December 7, Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy had announced renaming Pragathi Bhavan as Jyotirao Phule Praja Bhavan.

Revanth Reddy continues to stay at his residence in Jubilee Hills and he is discharging his official duties from his office at the State Secretariat.

Located in Begumpet, Pragathi Bhavan was the power centre earlier this month when Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) lost power to the Congress.

It was in 2016 that Pragathi Bhavan was inaugurated. For Congress and other opposition parties, it was the symbol of “autocratic” rule of Chandrashekar Rao while his BRS used to call it symbol of Telangana’s development and pride.

Soon after coming to power, the Congress government dismantled the iron fencing at Pragathi Bhavan to give people unrestricted access to the place.

The authorities used bulldozers and gas cutters to remove the huge iron fencing which had eaten away a part of the busy road and was seen as a hurdle in free flow of vehicular traffic.

In 2004, then Chief Minister of united Andhra Pradesh Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) had built a CM camp office at a cost of Rs.8.10 crore. His successor K. Rosaiah and the last Chief Minister of united Andhra Pradesh, Kiran Kumar Reddy were also using the same facility.

After KCR became the first Chief Minister of newly-created Telangana state, he expanded and renovated the building to make it Vaastu compliant.

Response to a Right to Information (RTI) query last year had revealed that Rs.49.84 crore were spent on the construction of Pragathi Bhavan. Spread over nine acres, Pragathi Bhavan is the collection of five buildings – the residence, the Chief Minister’s office, Janahitha (meeting hall), the old CM residence, and the camp office.

It was built after demolishing 10 IAS Officers’ quarters and 24 peon quarters at the officers’ colony. The government has been spending Rs 1 crore every year on its maintenance.

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