Independence Day celebrations not in Golconda Fort
It seems that the Golconda Fort was only a temporary venue for Independence Day celebrations, as the TRS government wants to go back to the Parade Grounds for Independence Day celebrations this year.
Last year, soon after coming to power, CM KCR had surprised everyone by deciding to celebrate the state’s first Independence Day at the historic fort instead of the customary Parade Grounds in Secunderabad. This year, with just three weeks left for Independence Day, officials from the General Administration Department sought clarity over the venue to make arrangements.
Sources said that Mr Rao is not keen on Golconda Fort this time and has asked officials to make preparations at the Parade Grounds.
Official sources in GAD said that the logistics problems at the Fort coupled with the need to seek permission from the Centre are reasons for this. Though collectors of Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy showed land parcels including vacant lands in HCU, the CM was not impressed. Mr Rao was not satisfied with any of them.
Some officials and TRS party leaders from Warangal had also proposed the Warangal Fort for the I-Day celebrations this year, but the CM was not interested.
Last year, KCR had sent the entire police, Hyderabad collectorate and GAD officials in a tizzy by taking the decision to hold Independence Day celebrations at Golconda Fort as late as August 4. With just 10 days in hand, officials were tensed about whether they could conduct the programme smoothly. Defence officials had further compounded the problem by denying entry to state government officials who had gone there to inspect the area for displaying tableaux near Golconda Fort, by claiming ownership of these lands.
The Centre’s Archeological Survey of India too had given anxious moments by delaying the permission till the last minute. The government was also forced to drop the tableaux after the ministries refused permission.
The 15th century Golconda Fort is a protected monument and is under the aegis of the Archaeological Survey of India, under the Union ministry of culture. The CM himself had to personally pursue the case multiple times with Union ministries concerned to get permissions.
The ASI had given its approval as a “one-time permission” last year though the TS government had plans to convert the fort as a permanent I-Day venue. If Golconda Fort was selected again, the government would have had to go through the entire process of seeking permissions like last year.
After the I-Day celebrations last year, the CM himself had looked at various locations in the city and its outskirts for suitable land to develop the TS government’s own Parade Grounds for Independence Day, Republic Day and TS Formation Day celebrations, instead of seeking the Centre’s approvals every year for the Parade Grounds.
Though collectors of Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts had shown various land parcels including vacant lands of the University of Hyderabad, Mr Rao was not satisfied with any of them.