Telangana govt renames Pragathi Bhavan, demolishes barricades before Revanth Reddy swearing-in

The barricaded pathway used to affect the pedestrians and hamper the movements of vehicles, several people told South First.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Dec 07, 2023 | 6:42 PMUpdatedDec 07, 2023 | 6:43 PM

Barricades of Pragathi Bhavan torn down as Congress takes charge; commuters applaud the decision

The authorities on Thursday, 7 December, demolished a barricaded pathway that was used as an entrance to Pragathi Bhavan, the Telangana chief minister’s camp office-cum-residence in Hyderabad, now renamed as Jyotirao Phule Praja Bhavan.

The dismantling began before the swearing-in of A Revanth Reddy as the new chief minister of the state.

During the run-up to the 30 November Assembly polls in Telangana, several Congress leaders had said that the barricaded pathway would be razed.

Related: Revanth Reddy takes oath as Telangana chief minister

Pragathi Bhavan renamed 

Amid heavy police presence, four bulldozers and around 40 workers with gas cutters and drilling machines arrived at the Pragathi Bhavan on Greenlands Road around 11 am to take down the over-10-foot grills, shed and CCTV cameras located on the pathway.

Workers uninstal the barricades in front of the Telangana CM camp office. (Ajay Tomar/South First)

Workers from Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited were roped in for the work.

“The pathway is being demolished based on the directions of the new (Congress) government. It is being done to widen the road and allow smooth vehicular movement. By evening, all the barricades are likely to be removed,” a senior police officer told South First.

He added that the two police booths situated on the pathway would operate until further orders. “They will be taken down subsequently,” the officer said.

Meanwhile, Telangana’s first Congress Chief Minister Revanth Reddy, in a move to make his official residence accessible to all, renamed it Jyotirao Phule Praja Bhavan (People’s Building). He would be holding Praja Darbar from his residence.

Related: Kondareddy Pally euphoric as ‘local boy’ becomes chief minister

Commuters, citizens happy 

South First spoke to several commuters near Pragathi Bhavan. Almost all claimed that the barricaded pathway hampered the movements of vehicles. They hoped that the removal of the fenced grills would help in reducing traffic snarls.

“This is the widest stretch of this road. However, its width was affected due to this pathway. This affected the commuters,” R Ravikumar, who works in a building next to Pragathi Bhavan, told South First,

“During the previous governments in the united Andhra Pradesh, this road was never encroached. KCR was the first one to encroach the road here,” he added.

Workers removing the first barricade of the Pragathi Bhavan

Workers removing the first barricade of the Pragathi Bhavan. (Ajay Tomar/South First)

Y Shivakumar, Ravikumar’s colleague, pointed out that the police parked their vehicles on the road and took shelter on the footpaths as a result of the pathway.

“Due to this, the pedestrians used to face problems. Accidents, too, were reported after two-wheeler riders bumped into the barricades,” he said.

A senior journalist, whose office is situated near Pragathi Bhavan, said he was hit twice by a two-wheeler while walking down the road next to the barricades. “It is a people’s centric move by the new government.”

“On the days when protests used to take place in front of the KCR’s residence, the traffic used to come to a standstill,” a security guard at the Vivekananda Hospital, adjacent to Pragathi Bhavan, told South First,

Y Ashok, a motorist, said those who used to take a left turn to go under the bridge (ahead of the pathway) faced difficulties due to the pathway.

“My office is in Banjara Hills and my home is in Secunderabad. It is usually a 20-30-minute journey but due to the slow movement in front of the pathway, sometimes I would take an additional 10-15 minutes,” he told South First.

A guard at the Kakatiya Hotel opposite Pragathi Bhavan told South First: “During most of the day, the vehicle flow on this side of the road (towards Panjagutta) would be smooth, but the traffic would be slow in front of Pragathi Bhavan.”