The Telangana High Court on Friday stayed the demolition of the state Secretariat till July 13, PTI reported. The court issued the order after hearing a public interest litigation seeking a stay on the government’s decision to demolish the building.

The petitioner argued that the building is being demolished in violation of the lockdown imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus, and will also result in pollution in the surrounding areas, India Today reported. The High Court prohibited the demolition until July 13, and asked the authorities to furnish the demolition plan and the necessary approval from the state pollution control board and municipal authorities.

In place of the secretariat, a new administrative complex will be built. Rao had laid the foundation stone for the new administrative complex on June 27 last year, Deccan Chronicle reported.

Meanwhile, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expressed sorrow about the destruction of two mosques and a temple during the demolition of the secretariat, The New Indian Express reported. The Bharatiya Janata Party vented its ire against the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government over the destruction of the temple, while All India Majlis-e-Ittahadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi voiced displeasure at the demolition of the mosques.

“The government has began to construct a new secretariat building complex by demolishing the old buildings,” Rao said on Friday. “I came to know that while demolishing the old buildings, a temple and two mosques adjacent to the old buildings were damaged. I felt sorry about the incident. It should not have happened.” Rao said the government will reconstruct the shrines within the premises of the secretariat.

Rao said he has decided to hold discussions with Hindu and Muslim leaders about the destruction of the shrines and their proposed reconstruction. ‘’We will construct the temple and mosques and hand them over to the people concerned,” the chief minister said.