HYDERABAD: With the government all set to raze the century-old IP building on Osmania General Hospital premises, heritage activists have stepped up campaign against the move stressing on need to protect heritage structures in the city.
The government is planning to build multiple towers to accommodate various departments and offer quality medical care to the denizens. To accommodate the new buildings the in-patient (IP) block there has to be de-listed from the heritage list. The IP block is a declared heritage structure, and the rules laid down by heritage conservation committee states that the height of new buildings cannot exceed more than three floors.
To overcome this, a file seeking to de-list the IP block as a heritage structure has been sent to the department of Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) a few days ago.
Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said on Monday that the IP block should be brought down and new building constructed in its place. “The first step towards taking up construction of a new building on a heritage site is to de-list the heritage structure. If IP block remains as a heritage structure, only ground plus two floors can be constructed,” a source said.
The IP block sits on a six-acre land and it was constructed nearly a century ago. Doctors and staff of the hospital have been urging the authorities to demolish the building as patches of the ceiling have been chipping off posing threat to the lives of patients.
However, heritage activists in the city have opposed the move pointing out that a heritage block should not be demolished.
To drive his point home, P Anuradha Reddy, convener of INTACH Hyderabad chapter, said that a new building does not necessarily guarantee clean and hygienic conditions. The present Gandhi hospital at Musheerabad was constructed after demolishing Central Jail, which was also a heritage structure, she noted. “It was denotified as heritage structure and new buildings were constructed. However, the present building is stinky and unhygienic. Any structure has to be maintained and managed,” she said.
The OGH at Afzalgunj is situated in a congested area, and new buildings will add to the problem, opined Anuradha Reddy. “They should be constructed at a place where there is huge space, less pollution, and open space for patients and visitors,” she added.
Anuradha recounted that the heritage activists have struggled for three decades to preserve heritage under the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh government, and that it would be tragedy if the heritage structure, is brought down by the Telangana government. “Chief Minister should interact with the activists. We want to explain the value of heritage to the city,” she said.
Setback for Heritage
Multi-storied towers at Osmania General Hospital can be built only after de-listing IP Block as a heritage structure.
Gandhi hospital at Musheerabad was built after demolishing Central Jail, a heritage structure
A file asking to de-list the IP block was sent to MA&UD a few days ago
An official of MA&UD department said it could be de-listed if the government asks for it