Sri M. Vedakumar, President Forum For A Better Hyderabad and Mr. O.M. Debara, General Secretary, FBH addressing Print and Electronic Media at Media Centre Secretariat after giving a Representation to Chief Secretary Dr. P.M. Mahathi in connection with restoration and protection of G-Block (Saifabad Palace) located in Secretariat premises, Hyderabad

The Chief Secretary,
Government of Andhra Pradesh,

This is with reference to reports in the media regarding proposed demolition of G Block of the Secretariat.

As you are aware, the Hon’ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh has already dismissed a petition by the Government seeking demolition. Subsequently, the Government of AP through the Principal Secretary GAD has given an assurance that the building will not be demolished. Despite our communications and reminders in this matter, no steps have been taken by the Government of AP to declare G Block as a Heritage Building and to undertake its restoration as per the recommendations of the Heritage Conservation Committee. In view of the above and keeping in mind the fact that the HCC has not been reconstituted after the expiry of the term of the last committee, it will be highly irregular for the Government to undertake demolition of this prime example of the city’s built heritage. Copies of earlier communications in this regard are enclosed herewith for your information.

M. Veda Kumar,
Forum for Better Hyderabad.

Press Release on G-Block

The Historical important 'G-Block Building' (Saifbad Palace) is under threat of demolitions-must be saved and restored for future generation
A Letter by "Heritage Cell"
  Sri. Mohan Kanda, I.A.S
The Chief Secretary,
Government of Andhra Pradesh,
Secretariat,  Hyderabad.

Respected Sir,
We bring it at your kind notice that the High Court issued a stay order to stop demolition of G-Block in Secretariat in response to a PIL filed by us. Hence, we request your kind self to instruct the concerned official not to carry on the demolition of the said block.
  A representation was given to your kind self and to the Hon'ble Chief Minister on 1st December, 2004 in this regard. 
Forum For A Better Hyderabad 
Related Links:'G' Block in the Secretariat -
Report in the Hindu Dated 26.11.2005 Letter to CM on "G-Block" Issue

Historical Value of "G-Block"
Heritage Cell Activities
Heritage Cell Aims & Objectives
Workshop for School Children & Teachers
News Clippings
on "G-Block" lssue
Writ Petition No 22263 of 2004
We appeal to the public to send us relevant quotes, facts, photographs etc., on environmental issues with full details.  We will try to incorporate them in our website. Your Opinions may be sent to: betterhyd@yahoo.co.in suggestions@hyderabadgreens.org
Excerpts from some court judgements.
Efforts put on to save G-Block Building (Saifabad Palace) in A.P.Secretariat font-family:Verdana">The Forum For A Better Hyderabad  is floated by some voluntary organizations and citizens who are concerned about developmental and environmental issues in and around Hyderabad   The objective of the Forum is to be proactive and constructive, to mobilize public opinion and to speak in one voice on major issues which are likely to have adverse environmental impact affecting the quality of life of the citizens.  The Heritage Cell, of Forum For Better Hyderabad puts efforts to conserve and restore the historical important buildings. In this direction the HERITAGE CELL filed a PIL vide Writ Petition No. 22263 of 2004 in High Court to stop the demolition  the historical important  "G-Block" of Secretariat.  In response to the PIL the High Court issued a stay order to stop the demolition of the above building prior to this a representation was submitted to the Hon'ble Chief Minister and to the Respected Chief Secretary of Government of Andhra Pradesh to take necessary steps for restoration of the building.
Date: 10.4.2008
Sri A. Raghotham Rao, IAS
The Chief Secretary,
Government of Andhra Pradesh
                  Dear Sir,
Sub: G Block in the Secretariat premises ( Saifabad palace)
We refer to the meeting held on 27.2.08 in the office of the Chief Secretary to discuss what should be done about the G Block. ( Saifabad palace). We have not so far received the minutes of the meeting. We recall ( a) The meeting noted the Hon’ble High Court’s judgment dated 31.12.04 “In case the Committee expresses opinion to include it in the heritage buildings, it will be for the Government to take steps to amend the notification.” (b) The Heritage Conservation Committee has since advised the government of its recommendation to include the ‘G’ Block building in the Secretariat in the list of notified heritage buildings. (c) A committee of engineers appointed by the state government stated that it will not be worthwhile saving the building considering the high cost of preservation .

During the discussions it emerged that the engineers do not state that the building could not be saved; they only referred to the cost of saving. On questioning they opined that the building could still be preserved

It was also noted that the Heritage Conservation Committee, to whom the report of the committee of engineers was referred to by HUDA earlier, had reiterated their recommendation that the G Block should and can be preserved, and had noted that the committee of engineers had never stated in their report that the building was not capable of preservation, but the committee of engineers had only referred to the cost of preservation. Historic buildings should be considered for protection not on the basis of the cost of preservation or its use but its historical, architectural, associational and other values which abound in the G Block.

The meeting was participated in by Chairman, and members of the Heritage Conservation Committee, ,Forum For A Better Hyderabad, INTACH, HUDA , Principal Secretaries of GAD, MAU & D, TR & B. concerned departmental engineers (R & B ). Speakers after speakers from the Heritage Conservation Committee, ,Forum For A Better Hyderabad, INTACH, stressed the values of the G Block and opined unambiguously for its conservation. It was further stressed that the building was owned by the government, and the A.P government was a pioneer in framing heritage regulations and it should show an example in protecting a building with heritage qualities which belongs to it, as an eye opener to the private owners of heritage buildings It is also noted that the engineers or any department of the government did not contradict that the building was capable of being saved.

Considering all of the above discussions, we conclude that the meeting was in favour of the preservation of the G Block. Accordingly, we earnestly request the government to preserve the building and notify it as a heritage building, thereby honouring the wishes of all and the sentiments of the Honourable High Court. . There should be no reason for any further delay in taking the decision to preserve the building and such delay will only add to the cost of preservation

Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
Forum For A Better Hyderabad
Mobile: 9959922022
C.C to:
1. Sri.R.M.Gonela, IAS.., Principal Secretary to the Government, GAD., Secretariat, Hyd.
2. Sri.T.Chatterji, IAS., Principal Secretary to the Government, TR & B, Secretariat, Hyd.
3. SriS.P.Singh, IAS., Principal Secretary to the Government, MA & UD, Secretariat, Hyd.
4. Sri.G.P.Rao, IAS., Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, HUDA, Hyderabad
5. Sri.K.Jawahar Reddy, IAS., Vice Chairman, HUDA, Hyderabad.
Date: 26-11-2005

T.K. Dewan, IAS

Chief Secretary Government of Andhra Pradesh Secretariat,
HYDERABAD. 'G' Block in the Secretariat Report in the Hindu dated 24.11.05 We refer to the report in the Hindu of 24.11.05, under the sub-heading  "G" Block under a report captioned "Work begins on Secretariat security" (copy enclosed).  The report is disturbing. When the Heritage Conservation Committee of the State government recommended the listing of  'G' Block as a heritage building, it did so after fully satisfying itself about its heritage value in its the then condition. This was after the High Court's order staying the demolition of the G Block. At that point of time, the architectural features of the building had not been interfered with during the demolition work; the removal of the flooring, of the partitions in the ground and the first floors, and the  removal of the false ceiling were stopped after the Court's intervention staying the demolition work.  The building is structurally sound. There is, therefore, no reason why there should be any doubts in the minds of any officials of the state government that the building is to be preserved. We are, therefore, surprised that the Hindu has reported that "the edifice continues as a big question mark to the officials".  We request you to arrange to unambiguously clarify the position to all concerned officials after the Court judgment.

Further, the Heritage Conservation Committee already recommended to the state government to notify the building as a heritage building, under advise to the Court This recommendation was conveyed to the state government by the HUDA, without any difference of opinion. The government, therefore, needs to notify the building as a heritage building as recommended by the Heritage Conservation Committee of the state government. Meanwhile it needs to take steps to conserve the building. For a decade or so, the government has not even spent money for the routine maintenance of the building.

Yours Faithfully,

(M.Vedakumar) Convener,
Heritage Cell, Forum For A Better Hyderabad.
Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration. Vice Chairman, HUDA. Secretary, T.R&B, Secretariat. Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, HUDA. Commissioner, MCH.
Secretary TOURISM