HYDERABAD: As INTACH Hyderabad chapter honours the well-preserved heritage structures in the twin cities, city heritage enthusiasts lead by INTACH officials have admitted to observing a growing trend over the years – that most of the recognition and honour goes to heritage structures under the ownership of private individuals and families, and not the government identified monuments and structures.
But for all their interest in the same, private owners are now facing increased hardships when it comes to maintaining the age old structures.
With reports being published daily of heritage structures falling prey to monetary interests of real estate groups or being maintained in deteriorating conditions due to the financial deficiency of owners to preserve them, former recipients of the award have sought the creation of a special fund for preserving heritage buildings that fall under private ownership.
A case in point is a former award winning structure, which is actually a residential home to Dr Hasanuddin Ahmed, a 90 year old man in the Old City.
A retired IAS officer and former chairman of Minorities Commission, he feels that even though recognitions and honours help in reaching out to the external world, there is an urgent need for the government to respond positively in supporting the city heritage, including the ones under private ownership. His house, the 130 year old Aziz Bagh villa at Noor Khan Bazaar is maintained beautifully, and he clearly mentions that it is better for a heritage building to be not recognized or listed under the government as a lot of restrictions would otherwise have been imposed on its users, which in this case happens to be him.
“Unless a special fund is created, it will get difficult for many to maintain their own residential buildings, and gradually everything will disappear”, he said hinting that many structures were falling due to lack of funds for preservation.
P Anuradha Reddy, Convenor, INTACH Hyderabad Chapter admitted the same problem saying, “Government should consider providing monetary support at least in the form of tax waivers.
Also these private heritage structures in the old city can be developed into establishments like an eating joint or boutique to earn revenue for its maintenance.”