Osmania University College of Arts and Social Sciences interiors bear the brunt of water seepage

Methodology followed to carry out renovation works questioned
Though the students and experts don’t believe that is even a distant possibility, many feel that the methodology being followed to carry out the renovation works currently underway, may be flawed. 
Though the students and experts don’t believe that is even a distant possibility, many feel that the methodology being followed to carry out the renovation works currently underway, may be flawed. 

HYDERABAD:  The grand old Osmania University College of Arts and Social Sciences building has been wearing a dampened look for the past year or so, as water has been seeping into its ceiling and walls, making the structure look like it is going to crumble. Though the students and experts don’t believe that is even a distant possibility, many feel that the methodology being followed to carry out the renovation works currently underway, may be flawed. 

According to OU Vice-Chancellor D Ravinder, `3 crore is being spent on the work to seal the terrace with a water-proofing material using Singapore technology and other works, and the works have reached their fag end. A stroll by the corridors of the mighty architectural masterpiece tells a different tale. Heritage activists claim that terrace is not the only way from where water has been seeping in.

According to a heritage expert and an activist who did not want to be named, when the building was being constructed in the early 1930s, a metal sewerage pipeline was laid inside the walls made of granite, brick and lime mortar. The expert tells TNIE that there were outlets for those pipelines, which would drain the water out of the building, which were blocked in the course of time. 

The expert believes that it could have been the reason for seepage of water inside the walls, and not just the terrace. However, Professor Ravinder downplays this claim as “imaginary and untrue.” Two years ago, INTACH had submitted a report to the university administration making similar observations which the administration is denying.

One of the workarounds being used to fix the problem is by plastering the damaged walls with cement, which is a blunder, according to heritage architecture experts. “Both the cement and the original lime mortal material don’t glue together, and eventually the cement will get separated. Original lime-mortar plastering should be done to the damaged walls,” observes MA Srinivasan, General Secretary, PRIHAH. 

He feels that there wouldn’t be any damage to the main structure which was designed in such a way that there was no scope for water to enter between the granite blocks which locked into each other. However, he says that the internal architectural beauty of the building will be affected, and the building would start looking like a “Bhoot Bungalow” if not renovated properly. 

A look at the heritage building from outside also reveals the saplings of the sacred fig (Peepal tree) growing out of the granite stone on the exteriors of the Arts College building, which points to lack of basic maintenance of the premises. Prof Ravinder assured that the seepage issue will be solved once the renovation work is completed, 

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