HYDERABAD: Owners of private heritage sites such as palaces and other monuments called out the State government for its lack of support and protested against the stringent rules that leave them with no freedom to handle the monuments.
In a workshop organised by UNESCO, as part of its Republic of Korea Funds-in-Trust Project (KFIT), the world cultural body concentrated on issues that owners of private palaces and other monuments were facing.
Satish, the owner of the more than three centuries old Raja Bhagwandas Pavilion, described himself as a ‘glorified watchman’. He said that due to the State government’s Heritage Act, they can neither demolish or sell the land.
He also pointed out that they have to privately take up conservation works of the palace, which is made completely out of wood.
Adding that they have to incur a monthly expenditure of around Rs 50,000 towards maintaining the palace, he rued the lack of interest from the State government and their reluctance in providing them with remuneration.
Hyderabad Public School registrar Lt Col PLN Sharma pointed out that the charges were hefty for the conservation of buildings which were designed by British architect Vincent Esch Sharma, and added that the conservation contractors who were hired via tenders were lacking in skills.
Other experts at the workshop stressed on the need for civil society groups to amp up pressure on the government so that it steps up its work towards conserving heritage.
Sajjad Shahid, a historian, slammed the State government for not implementing the Heritage Telangana Act despite the High Court’s direction. The event was organised with the help of the INTACH, GHMC and MAUD.