archana srivastava
LUCKNOW, 21 JUNE: As the Opposition lashes out at the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh for withdrawing cases against terror accused and people find no respite from the deteriorating law and order situation, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is all set to have a new secretariat building replete with a multi-tiered security system and high-tech gadgets to prevent terror attacks.
Work at the proposed building site is already underway. The new secretariat building will come up opposite the Vidhan Bhawan and in an area popularly referred to as the "dharna sthal". The Vidhan Sabha Marg, rechristened the Bhim Rao Ambedkar Marg, will divide the old from the new.
Official sources on requests of anonymity said the new secretariat will come up over an area of 5.50 acres and entail an expenditure of Rs 350 crore. The time frame for the completion of the building will be two years from the date of the laying of the foundation. Its outer façade will be a mirror image of the existing  Vidhan Bhawan with beautiful landscaping all around it. The similarity, however, ends here as the new secretariat will be more organised, functional and a state-of-the-art building.
The new secretariat will comprise two blocks. One of these will be Ground +5  and the other will be Ground +7. The two together will be able to accommodate approximately 1,300 employees. The fully air-conditioned building will have escalators instead of stairs and the interiors will be such as will have no other parallel in a government building of the state.
An official said foolproof security will be the norm in this building. Entry will be through electronic cards. In the event of any vehicle making a forced entry by breaking the first barrier, the brakes of the vehicle will automatically come into operation through the sensor system. Bulletproof check posts will be set up.
People will be able to enter only after mandatory scanning test. VIPs will have to go through a separate gate. Other high-tech gadgets will be installed to ensure the building is safe from attack by terrorists. The official said the aim was to ensure the level of security is such as exists in the Parliament House.
The CMs current secretariat is housed in the Lal Bahadur Shashtri building, with many other offices located in the Bapu Bhawan, Naveen Bhawan, Janpath etc. The proposal envisages bringing all these offices in the new building.
At present excavation at the proposed site is fully underway. This will be followed by removal of the existing sewer and cable lines and demolition of the existing old bungalows and buildings. After this levelling work will begin.