HYDERABAD: The over 100-year-old Raja Rai Rayan Devdi Gadiyal, popularly known as the Shah-Ali-Banda clock tower is set to be functional within a month, as the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s (GHMC) restoration drive on the heritage structure nears completion.
The clock tower which is now enveloped on its two sides with residential buildings, was once part of the magnificent Raja Rai Rayan Devdi (palace). The palace was constructed in 1904 by Raja Roy Rayan Bahadur who was the daftardar (revenue officer) in the erstwhile court of Nizam of Hyderabad. The big clock was also fixed the same year.
Although the palace was damaged through the years due to human intervention and some natural causes, the clock tower was spared a similar fate. However, due to lack of upkeep and negligence, the structure developed cracks, the clocks on each of its side had stopped working and there was massive ingrowth of vegetation on it.
In 2019, the GHMC decided to preserve it and floated a tender. By the fourth quarter of the year, they started the conservation works. “We have used lime plaster made from traditional methods. The vegetation has also been removed and we tended to the cracks that had appeared on it. We are also working on matching the original colour,” K Srinivasa Rao, director of planning, GHMC said.