Hill Fort Palace structurally solid: Experts 

INTACH suggests adaptive reuse, involvement of experts in restoration of Hill Fort Palace

Published: 02nd May 2022 05:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd May 2022 05:44 AM   |  A+A-

Telangana High Court (File Photo | EPS)

Telangana High Court (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: With the Telangana High Court directing the State government to start restoration and conservation of the historic Hill Fort Palace that is also known as the Ritz Hotel located in Adarsh Nagar in Hyderabad, a structural assessment report on the palace prepared by INTACH Hyderabad has attained prominence. Deepak Kant Gir, the petitioner and the managing trustee of Hyderabad Heritage Trust had in his plea sought the court to direct the Union government to permit the Trust to take up the restoration and conservation of the notified heritage structure.

Dr P Anuradha Reddy, convener of INTACH, Telangana chapter, along with Dr SP Anchuri, structural consultant, INTACH, who had visited the palace in 2017, and most recently on April 6, 2022, to study the structural condition, have found that the foundation and other substructure level elements are sound and required minor attention. They also found that the superstructure consisting of walls, beams, pillars, roof etc required special attention.

The INTACH team observed that the building seemed to be in good condition until it was used by an earlier lessee as a hotel. However, they said that the new lessee had put more stress on modifications and gave little importance to repairs or rehabilitation of structures, neglecting the maintenance aspect, which led to the distress in structural elements.

“Incompatible construction material suggested for heritage buildings, unsuitable methodology of execution, improper sequential construction and repairs have caused further damage to the stability of the heritage structure built 90 years ago,” the report stated.

They saw that the front portion of the building where major changes were planned was damaging to the heritage building, as the jack arch roof system couldn’t be supported by the system of RCC columns seen at the site. These recently cast columns with the shallow foundations not only damaged the flooring but also disturbed the stability of the structure, they noted.

“The punctured walls in many places without proper plans and methodology, stagnation of rainwater, damaged water-proofing membranes and heavily grown vegetation with no maintenance, has allowed water to percolate through various elements causing excessive dampness in walls, spalling of plasters, leading to corrosion of steel in beams and jack arch roof rafters, rendering the structure to lose its strength and durability,” the report states.



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