HYDERABAD: The AP High Court Order which put the name of the Monty’s Bar located at Parklane, back into the Heritage list has come as a shot in the arm for heritage activists.
The Monty’s Bar, which has more than 100 years of glorious history, can now neither be demolished or alternated with.
As the city witnesses rapid urban growth coupled with real estate development, existing heritage structures are falling prey to commercial developers. While expressing happiness over the court order, heritage activists feel that a lot more needs to be done as there are many such structures which need to be protected.
O M Debara, general secretary, Forum for a Better Hyderabad, who had filed the writ petition against the delisting of Monty’s Bar from the Heritage List says, “Any building which is old cannot be classified as heritage structure. There are many clauses that are taken into consideration for listing a heritage structure such as its history, architecture and its importance.” He added, “Heritage need not be tagged to structures alone, even rock formations, water bodies and others come into its fold.” Debara expressed concern over the way heritage structures being demolished or sold overnight.
“We are conducting a study in the GHMC area to know how many heritage structures are there in its limits. After that we would work towards protecting them,” Debara said.
M Veda Kumar, president, Forum for a Better hyderabad feels that the government and its officals need to act more responsibly and carefully while taking decisions regarding such structures.
“The G Block in the Secratariat holds an architectural importance. It was a palace before and was the nerve centre of the adminstration.
In the past, the Chief Minister’s Office was also located there. The Government had planned to demolish it but the case is pending in court now for five years.” Veda Kumar seeks to remind people that the Twin Cities have already lost many such structures and it’s high time we conserve our precious past. “Ravi Bar in Troop Bazar was a heritage structure which was demolished without permission and Adil Alam Mansion in Nampally was delisted. Another example of lost heritage lies in the residence of Bashir Yar Jung which was demolished to form the Country Club,” Veda Kumar observed.
Veda Kumar said that the FBH is constantly working with the INTACH and GHMC in conserving these structures.
Mohammad Ali Baig, theatre revivalist, feels that a city’s culture is evident from its structural heritage and a city like Hyderabad has to keep its past intact.
“Hyderabad is unique just like Jerusalem and Athens. We have to retain the old world charm of the Hyderabad as it has a distinct identity in the world.” Baig shares that the conservation of heritage is required more so in today’s times as one can see mostly metal and glass structures.
“Growth and modernisation should not be at the cost of the identity of the city,” observes Baig and advises that town planning be handled with care and involve different sections of the society.