HYDERABAD: Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s statement demanding demolition of the Osmania General Hospital has been giving sleepless nights to heritage activists and a section of doctors who have spent their entire life serving at the hospital.
While addressing the people in presence of Municipal Minister KT Rama Rao on Tuesday during the foundation-stone laying ceremony for the restoration of Sardar Mahal near Charminar, Owaisi once again stressed the need to demolish the heritage building.
He made it clear that the medical and health facilities for the people of Telangana at Osmania General Hospital were more important than the heritage importance of the century-old structure, which according to him, was dilapidated and needed to be demolished for the construction of a new hospital.
Owaisi said that he has no love for the old hospital building and that if any heritage conservationist was hurt by his statement, so be it. This was not the first time the MP had aired such views on the OGH. Expectedly, many Hyderabadis have expressed shock over his comments.
“He is a member of Parliament elected by people of the Old City like us. If he really wants the development of Old City, he should strive to get Metro rail from MGBS to Falaknuma, and see that Old City is further developed in terms of tourism,” said Dr Iqbal Javeed, a doctor who has spent his entire life in the service of patients at Osmania General Hospital’s heritage building.
He told Express that INTACH’s report on the structural condition of OGH clearly states that the hospital was built to last for 200 years and that its restoration, not demolition, was the need of the hour.
“There are 24 acres of land in the hospital’s campus where a new hospital can be built. The architectural plan is ready, but the work is not being taken up. They should build new buildings instead of demolishing the heritage structure,” Dr Javeed said. He wondered how Owaisi, a barrister by education, can say such a thing when a case against the heritage structure’s demolition was sub-judice.
Heritage activists have been suggesting that the heritage building, after restoration, could be put to adaptive reuse, by converting it into a medical museum, or as a hostel for the Osmania Medical College.
Dr Javeed urged Owaisi to discuss the issue with those emotionally connected with the heritage building.