MJ Market to regain its lost glory

MAUD principal secretary sets himself a deadline of three to four months for restoration of the heritage structure.

Published: 27th March 2018 05:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2018 05:13 AM   |  A+A-

Pigeons gather around the stagnant drainage water at Moazzam Jahi Market | vinay madapu

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The advertisement boards in and around the 83-year-old Moazzam Jahi Market would go, the clock tower would start ticking again and the old taps and other aspects of the prominent heritage building would be restored in the next three to four months. Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) principal secretary Arvind Kumar has set himself a deadline of three to four months for the restoration of the heritage structure. In his tweet, the senior official said that he is adopting the restoration works upon the advice of MA&UD minister KT Rama Rao. 

The main purpose of establishing the market area back in 1935 was to create a space for vegetable and fruit vendors in the city. Even to this day, third and fourth generations of people who set the first shops in the famous granite building are managing the old stores. Unfortunately, today, drainage water overflows in the inner circle of the building, and flexis and advertisement boards are nailed to the old walls. Also, with garbage being dumped in and around the place, the heritage structure becomes quite inaccessible to the public. Arvind Kumar displayed these problems through photographs shared from his twitter handle. 

Responding to the photos, Rama Rao tweeted back: “I am saving these pics so I can juxtapose with the after-renovation ones.”Meanwhile, Arvind Kumar said works would be taken up to repair drainage lines or divert them and the structure’s roof would be made water proof to avoid seepage.

“My idea is to restore MJ market to what it was. All additional signages fixed by shopkeepers will be taken out. Temporary encroachments will be removed. Heritage lightings will be installed,” he said. Regarding funds for the project, the senior official said that corporate companies have expressed interest in the project and CSR funds might be tapped for the works. 

Tour guides will help boost business too
The Moazzam Jahi Market, just a few kilometers away from the iconic Charminar, receives a fair share of tourists. These tourists, on several occasions, ask the shopkeepers about significance of the place, said MJ Market Traders Association members.“Either we are busy or search online to provide them the information. If there are guides who can explain the history of this place, there will be more tourists. If more people come, it will be good for business,” S Satyajeet, secretary of the association, said. Traders at the market said water stagnated up to ankle level when it rained. These issues too will be addressed as part of the heritage restoration works. 

While some of them feared that they might be asked to vacate the shops for restoration works, Arvind Kumar assured that existing lease holders would not be displaced. The shops which are not used would be taken over to establish antique shops and eateries, he added. 

Other heritage structures in Hyd have to be restored
Heritage activists and conservationists said that there are several heritage structures in Hyderabad which are neglected and are in urgent need of attention. The activists have pointed out that one of the prime examples is Osmania General Hospital building which is not too far from MJ Market. The heritage activists have also said that after restoration, maintenance of the buildings is important too. 

What changes can be expected at MJ Market
Antique shops and new eateries will come up
Public toilets not inside, but beside the 83-year-old heritage structure
Defunct clock tower will be fixed
Heritage lightings 
Shop sign boards, flexis, ad boards, encroachments will be removed to reveal the structure
Seepage from roof will be fixed, drainage overflow issue would be addressed

MJ Market named after the last Nizam’s son
The Moazzam Jahi Market or what is famously known as the MJ Market was one of the last iconic stone structures in Hyderabad, built between 1933 and 1935, and named after the last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan’s son Prince Moazzam Jah, said Sajjad Shahid, secretary, Centre for Deccan Studies. He added that Moazzam Jah was the president of City Improvement Board formed for the reconstruction of Hyderabad

Overwhelming response 
After Arvind Kumar formed ‘Team MJ Market Restoration’ and asked people who are interested in the project to send their details to mjmarket.restoration@gmail.com, scores of people have responded. The official said that people who are Urban landscape designers, Residential Welfare Associations, as well as corporate companies and others have sent mails

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