HYDERABAD: After more than one unsuccessful attempts to secure the World Heritage Site tag for Golconda Fort and the Qutub Shahi tombs owing to the massive encroachments around the monuments, the State government has now directed the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to recover the lost lands in the site’s vicinity, to improve sanitation, and to take up other beautification works.
In a stake holders’ meeting convened earlier this week by Chief Secretary SK Joshi—attended by GHMC, ASI, officials of the District Collectorate, State Government and police -- the municipal body was directed to remove ‘a few encroachments’ on Murda Darwaza, GHMC Central Zone Commissioner Musharraf Faruqui told Express.
Faruqui, who attended the stake holders’ meeting, said, “Our people (at GHMC) have visited the Murda Darwaza area and a survey has been undertaken. Once we get an idea of the number of people who stay there, the kind of livelihood they have and put an estimate into the cost, we will come up with an appropriate rehabilitation programme. In the coming week, along with ASI officials, a final survey will be undertaken.”
GHMC is also expected to take up the tricky task of removing wild vegetation in and around the monuments. “You simply can’t uproot the vegetation because it might cause damage to the monument. It has to be chemically treated before being removed,” Faruqui said, adding that the work will be done under supervision of an ASI-appointed expert.
Water stagnation is the other major focus area, instructed the Chief Secretary, which includes identifying and clearing water stagnation points in the entire fort perimeter. Places like the Darwazas where locals dump garbage and debris, have been identified. Speaking to Express, Director of Department of Archaeology & Museums N R Visalatchy said, “Works to clear the moat where locals dump debris have already started.”
The District Collectorate will assist in taking up surveys and settling land disputes while police will help in maintaining law and order.Officials expect all works to be completed before September which is when officials of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre will visit the city for inspection.
Golconda Fort and Qutub Shahi Tombs are part of the ‘Monuments of the Deccan Sultanate’ nomination for World Heritage Site tag made by the central government in 2014. Apart from the two Qutub Shahi monuments from the State, the nominations include Bahmani monuments at Gulbarga in Karnataka, Barid Shahi monuments in Bidar, Karnataka, and Adil Shahi monuments at Bijapur, Karnataka.