Hyderabad: Work has commenced for the revival and restoration plan of Sardar Mahal, a landmark near the iconic Charminar in Hyderabad.
Arvind Kumar, Special Chief Secretary, Urban Development, stated on Wednesday that an art studio, a vibrant cultural centre and a small cafe will come up as part of the restoration work.
The official said the work has commenced in a tri-partite agreement with Kalakriti Art Gallery and Quli Qutub Shah Urban Development Authority (QQSUDA).
Arvind Kumar had recently revealed that Sardar Mahal will have an art gallery, cafe and heritage accommodation on lines of Neemrana Fort Palace in Rajasthan.
The state government already announced that Sardar Mahal will be developed as the cultural hub of the city, adding an attraction for thousands of tourists who visit Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Chowmahalla Palace and other monuments every day.
According to officials, Sardar Mahal, a palace built in European style by Nizam VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan in 1900, will be conserved and restored to its original structure with additional architectural designs.
Though Mahboob Ali Khan, the then ruler of Hyderabad State, built the palace for one of his beloved consorts, Sardar Begum, she refused to inhabit this token of love as it did not live up to her expectations. No one stayed there but the building took her name.
It was declared a heritage building by the Heritage Conservation Committee and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) took over Sardar Mahal in 1965 due to outstanding property taxes.
Minister for municipal administration and urban development, K. T. Rama Rao had asked the department and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to restore the famous Sardar Mahal.
As per the plans announced earlier, the heritage structure will be developed as a cultural hub with a museum, 10-12 room hotel and various activities including exhibitions and performances. However, the authorities have apparently dropped the plans for the hotel.
The proposed activities include cultural events, workshops, art exhibitions, heritage walks and hospitality. The project has been taken up in Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Built, Operate and Transfer concept.
According to QQSUDA, this will create and strengthen the identity of Hyderabad as synonym for heritage, creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation at local and regional levels and maximise the historical, cultural, social and tourist potential of Charminar area.
In April last year, Rama Rao along with Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi had formally launched the works to conserve, restore and strengthen Sardar Mahal.
Rama Rao had announced that the project taken up at a cost of Rs 30 crore will not only protect the heritage structure but add attraction to tourists visiting Hyderabad.