HYDERABAD: Animal Husbandry Minister T Srinivas Yadav has announced that the 17th-century stepwell being restored at Bansilalpet would be inaugurated on the occasion of Independence Day on August 15, 2022.
Addressing the media after inspecting the restoration works being taken up at the open stepwell at Bansilalpet on Thursday, he said that 2,000-tonne debris was removed from the well to make the water clean. In the near future, more such stepwells in Hyderabad would be restored and promoted under the tourism circuit.
MAUD Special Chief Secretary Arvind Kumar said that this was the sixth stepwell being restored in recent times and that 20 more such wells have been identified for restoration in the city.
He appealed to people in the twin cities to inform GHMC if they find any such heritage wells, so that they could also be restored. Arvind Kumar said restoration of heritage structures in the city was being taken up by the State government to tap into its heritage potential. The government is keen on getting a Unesco tag for the city. Kalpana Ramesh, conservation architect, who has been actively involved in restoration of such stepwells, said that there were 600-plus heritage wells in the State and 60-80 among them were in the twin cities.
She felt that their restoration could assure water security, help address the urban flooding problem, and lower ground water pollution.
Main source of water in 1972
Bhagyamma, a senior citizen and a resident of Bansilalpet, who grew up playing near the stepwell, recalled how the degradation of the well had started after its water was connected to local toilets. She remembered that the stepwell was the main source of water for the area during the drought situation in 1972.
She termed the restoration effort nothing less than Jalayagnam of the State government. In the first phase of restoration Rs 50 lakh was spent. Arvind Kumar announced that Rs 1 crore would be spent for the next phase of restoration works.
A boost for city heritage, tourism
MAUD Special Chief Secretary Arvind Kumar said restoration of heritage structures in the city being taken up by the government would further boost the State’s tourism potential.