Destruction of heritage: Khusro Manzil finally bites the dust 

Built in the 1920s, it was where the Chief Commanding Officer of the Nizam's forces, Khusro Jung Bahadur, resided.

Hyderabad: After many years of being chipped away part-by-part, Khusro Mazil, a heritage structure, was finally torn down on Thursday night. The demolition that began in 2013 has now finished, leaving a pile of debris. 

The building, dated to have been built in the 1920s, was classified as a Grade III heritage structure under HUDA (Hyderabad Urban Development Authority) guidelines. Despite the HMDA stating that they never permitted the owners to tear down the structure, it has been destroyed.

Anuradha Reddy, convener of INTACH, calling this a tragedy, said, “The government, who is supposed to care for these buildings is either unaware or unconcerned about them.” She went on to say that the heritage sites owned privately were promised relief from the government in form of tax concessions, or help with heritage restoration- but that relief is completely absent.

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Reddy added that even in the case of privately-owned heritage buildings, ultimately the responsibility of maintaining, restoring and conserving the city’s identity and heritage falls to the government.

“No one will pay to see a cement flyover, but people will pay to see a city’s heritage,” she said.

Sajjad Shahid, Hyderabad historian and conservator, says that the government has sent clear messages multiple times that they will tear down buildings that have connections to old Hyderabadi culture.

“There are very few heritage buildings in the city, and we’re losing them one by one. This is a clear indicator that the authorities are not interested in preserving our history and culture. We are failing as a society to protect these buildings.”

Khusro Manzil was built during the time of the seventh and last Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan (1886-1967). He became the monarch in 1911. Khusro Manzil was the residence of the Chief Commanding Officer of the Nizam’s forces, Khusro Jung Bahadur. 

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