HYDERABAD: Department of Heritage Telangana has stopped construction work by TRS legislator Gudem Mahipal Reddy’s brother at a 450-year-old Qutub Shahi tomb in Patancheru terming it an encroachment.
The tomb located next to the Hyderabad-Mumbai National Highway belongs to Abdal-Qadir Amin Khan who was a ministerial advisor and confidant of the fourth Qutub Shahi king Ibrahim Qutb Shahi Wali. It comprises of typical Qutub Shahi minarets and dome and has a facade decorated with stuccowork. Rampant industrialisation in the area has turned the site into a dumpyard.
The Patancheru MLA’s brother, G Madhusudan Reddy, told Express they just wanted to “beautify” the monument. “So from the MLA fund we took `40 lakh and began construction work, but Archaeology Department officials stopped us saying we are not allowed to construct on the monument’s premises,” he said.
As per the Andhra Pradsesh Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1960, “... whoever destroys, removes, injures, alters, defaces, imperils, misuses this monument shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees or with both.”
There is another smaller tomb inside the complex which too is in a dilapidated state. Pointing towards it, Reddy said they wanted to repair and install LED lights, but that, too, was disallowed by officials.
Although, Department of Heritage Telangana director NR Visalatchy was unavailable for comment, an official from the department said they were looking into alleged encroachment and would also take up revamp works at the earliest.
According to Reddy, Heritage Department officials asked the Reddy brothers to block a pathway that runs beside the tomb onto the main road.
“There is a mosque, a school and a market nearby. Every Friday, many access this pathway to go to the mosque. However, they want us to block the pathway because it falls under the monument’s property,” he added.