Yet, we call it Praja Rajadhani!
A trip to AP Secretariat means trauma; the interim facility lacks basic amenities like drinking water and visitors lounges
Amaravati: The temporary secretariat came up in five out of six blocks at Velagapudi in the Amaravati region with a government’s lofty ideal of building a ‘Praja Rajadhani’ or people’s capital in the local dialect with delivery of administration to the people’s doorsteps as the bottom-line. Commoners hardly get this feel during their visits to the corridors of power.
For the ordinary people, a visit to the newly-built interim secretariat at Velagapudi means unwelcome looks, coupled with frisking by security forces, hardship and deprival of basic amenities like drinking water and wash rooms.
The people coming from far and wide across the state have been discourteously told to park their vehicles quite away from the main gates in the parking slots and to trek for more than half a kilometre.
Rain or shine, no matter. There is no solace even if one manages to get into the premises after going through the ordeal.
There is not even a tree shade, drinking water and toilet facilities either. When vidya volunteers from different parts of the state came to the secretariat to represent their problems to the authorities concerned a few days ago, they were seen resting on heaps of sand and gravel under the sun.
It is more painful for the visitors seeking entry into the third block housing the Chief Minister’s official chambers. The block reels under different layers of security and one has to wait for longer hours to secure permission from the Chief Security Officer and pass through different stages of security cover.
It is estimated that nearly 300 to 500 visitors come to the secretariat on an average daily for redressing their grievances.
It is complained that the visitors are made to wait for a long time at the main gate itself until the security agencies get clearance for their entry. The authorities appeared to have given a scant regard for visitors counters or lounges.
As a result, the visit, especially for the aged and physically challenged, becomes a testing time. Battery cars procured by the CRDA authorities for their transport remained idle as they went out of order several days ago.
The government completed the Interim Secretariat Complex construction in blocks in a span of eight months. The sixth block under construction is meant for the state Assembly. Every building has one lakh square feet space with G- plus- one floors.
The Special Protection Force (SPF) has been entrusted with VIP security and issuing passes at the secretariat. In Hyderabad, previously the AP secretariat had four special counters along with waiting hall. There is no such facility on the new premises.
The visitors should wait in the queue lines at the main gate outside the secretariat without any roof overhead. Of course, there is a tarpaulin cover which is meant for the SPF personnel. The people who come to visit the Secretariat in the morning hours are seen standing right from 11 am under the sun.
One visitor, Alla Sivarami Reddy, who came to meet a special chief secretary on Tuesday, said that he had been undergoing a traumatic experience for a long time. K Raja, who led a group of ZPTC members from Chittoor district, the CM’s native district, emphasised the need for provision of drinking water to the visitors at least.