Government Order Seals the Fate of Heritage Structures in City
HYDERABAD: The heritage structures doting the busy streets of the City of Pearls may soon be a thing of the past. With the Telangana government issuing an order deleting the regulation 13 relating to heritage and historical buildings falling in the limits in Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), the existence of these structures for the future generations remains doubtful.
Expressing disappointment over the government order, heritage activists said the government was hell-bent on destroying the heritage of the city. It is the end of the road for heritage in the city, the activists rued.
In Hyderabad, there are about 160 notified heritage structures. Almost 75-80 percent of heritage buildings are in private hands. Heritage structures include buildings, monuments, rock structures etc. Apart from the structures, there are about 10 notified heritage rock formations also in Hyderabad.
With the government deleting the regulation, owners of the notified heritage buildings would be entitled to pull down their buildings and construct new residential and commercial complexes as per their choice.
The state government has referred the issue to the Advocate General. The AG also opined that there is no substantive provision dealing with the heritage or historical precincts and conservation thereof in the AP Act 1/1975.
Regulation 13 is inconsistent with the Act and rules made thereunder. Therefore, no purpose will be served to carry out the provisions of AP Act.
“Further the effect of regulation notifying the buildings will also affect the property rights of the owners and accordingly the Regulation 13 itself is ultra vires of the Act. The government after careful consideration have taken a decision to delete the Regulation 13 since the date of its inception,’’ a GO issued on Monday read.
“An expert committee will be constituted soon to make recommendations on protecting the monuments and other historical heritage buildings. There are several lacunae in the Act and government is keen to rectify them,” a senior official added.
A noted heritage activist, Sajjad Shahid said it was unfortunate on the part of the state government to delete the regulation 13 since its inception. “The TRS government has been championing the cause of Nizams, who played a pivotal role in conservation and protection of heritage structures in the city. Protecting heritage structures by government is a hoax now,’’ Shahid added.
In place of heritage structures, the state government wanted to encourage construction of commercial and shopping complexes and has no respect for the heritage of the city, he alleged.
It may be recalled that the Andhra Pradesh Urban Areas (Development) Act, 1975 was enacted to deal with urban areas development in the then AP. Subsequently, Regulation 13 was added through an amendment to the HUDA Zoning Regulations in 1995. The regulation provides identification of heritage buildings. After formation of Telangana state, the government felt that the Regulation 13 is inconsistent with the AP Act 1/1975 and decided to delete Regulation 13.