Hyderabad: Heritage building of Osmania Hospital vacated, sealed

Hyderabad: A week after rain and drainage flooded the state-run Osmania General Hospital here, the authorities on Wednesday had the old heritage building vacated and sealed it.

According to sources, state government will take a decision in connection with the demolition of the heritage building of Osmania Hospital within two days and it will be demolished in one go. Efforts to demolish the heritage structure build by Hyderabad Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan is on since 2015.

While the government wants to demolish the old structure and build a new one on its place, activists want the government to preserve the heritage structure and construct a new building for hospital on the vacant area.

The hospital officials shifted in-patient wards, operation theatres and offices to other blocks in the premises.

The action came within hours after Director of Medical Education K. Ramesh Reddy directed the superintendent of the hospital to vacate and close the old building and seal it. He ordered that no activity should be undertaken in the building.

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Building flooded

Following heavy rains on July 15, water had entered into the old building in the over 100-year-old hospital.

Videos of water flowing into in-patient wards had gone viral over social media. Patients and their attendants were sitting atop beds with ankle-deep water flooding the ward.

Hyderabad: Flooded floor of Osmania General Hospital due to drainage system failure, in Hyderabad, Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

The government came under sharp criticism from the opposition for neglecting the oldest and biggest hospital in Hyderabad and also for not taking up maintenance and repair works to the heritage building.

Staff launches protest

The latest development came a day after a section of doctors and other staff launched a protest demanding construction of a new building.

The old heritage building was declared unfit for occupation by civil engineers of the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) a few years ago.

In 2015, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government had proposed to demolish the building on the grounds that it is structurally weak and unfit to run a regular hospital. They had proposed to build two towers, of 24 floors each.

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However, strong opposition from historians, heritage activists and prominent citizens forced the government to drop its plans.

Built by Osman Ali Khan

Conceived after the Musi floods of 1908, the hospital was built by Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hyderabad State and named after him.

Designed by British architect Vincent Jerome Esch and Nawab Khan Bahadur Mirza Akbar Baig in the Indo-Sarcenic style, it was completed in 1919. Heritage experts say the domes of Osmania Hospital added to Hyderabad’s charms.

Spread over 26.5 acres, the hospital has 11 major blocks. The in-patient block alone was over an area of 2.37 acres with a total bed capacity of 1,168 beds including 363 in super-specialty wards.

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