Suddala Sudhakar Teja is neither an influential politician, nor a senior bureaucrat. Yet, he carries so much clout in Telanagana run by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) that nothing gets built in the state without his approval.
Appointed an adviser to the state’s Roads and Buildings department with all the privileges reserved for cabinet ministers, Teja is KCR’s trusted Vaastu consultant who now ensures that all constructions undertaken in Telangana are compliant with the traditional Hindu system of architecture.
A big believer in Vaastu, KCR stopped operating out of the Hussain Sagar lake-facing state secretariat long time ago as he felt the complex lacked positive vibes. It is now to be demolished and replaced with new structures at a cost of Rs 1,200 crore.
Renowned architect Hafeez Contractor has been tasked with drawing up the designs of the new complex. But the catch is the designs have to be in sync with Teja’s Vaastu suggestions.
“I am, perhaps, the first Vaastu consultant appointed as adviser by any state government in the country. It’s an honour,” Teja, 50, told HT.
The chief minister’s opponents say it is a colossus waste of money. “The money could have been better spent on welfare measures,” said T Jeevan Reddy, the Congress legislator who has challenged the demolition plan in the high court. “How come the same secretariat was good enough to run undivided Andhra Pradesh for the past six decades,” questioned G Kishan Reddy of the BJP.
But Teja insists it will be money well spent. “There are some serious Vaastu problems in the existing secretariat. The buildings should have perfect ventilation, flow of natural energy from all sides, greenery and enough moving space. Vaastu is not a superstition, but a spiritual science,” he said.
“A healthy and good working environment will help the chief minister in effective decision-making,” he added.
A post-graduate in theatre arts and Telugu, Teja had been KCR’s favourite Vaastu adviser even before taking up his official role. The chief minister built his house in Hyderabad’s upscale Banjara Hills neighbourhood as per his advice. Teja’s inputs were also sought when KCR held a massive Yagna to propitiate the Gods at his farmhouse in Medak district last year.
Since a mighty pleased KCR rewarded him with the official position, Teja sits at all meetings of the Roads and Buildings department, overseeing plans for constructing government buildings and laying new roads.
“Roads are not the problem. Constructing buildings are trickier,” Teja says. If all goes well, several landmarks will come up in Hyderabad soon with his imprint.
Among them is the chief minister’s new official residence at Begumpet built at a cost of Rs 35 crores. A 125-foot Ambedkar statue at NTR Gardens and a Telangana Martyrs’ Memorial in the city’s Lumbini Park are also on the drawing board.
The country’s second tallest Tricolour that proudly flutters at the Sanjeevaiah Park of the city also had his approval.
Teja, however, is modest about his achievements. Hailing from a family of Communists – his father was a folk singer and his brother a film lyricist – he considers himself only to be a foot soldier in cementing peace and tranquility in Telangana with the new constructions.
“I am not an engineer or architect. I have learnt Vaastu out of curiosity and mastered it as a science,” he says.