Hyderabad: A Nizam-era gate(way), the Bela Kaman, was demolished by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) on Thursday. The historical structure, built in the 1850s during the Asaf Jahi era (Nizams), was razed to the groud after a portion of it had crumbled during torrential rains that lashed Hyderabad last week. While GHMC officials maintained it was done to prevent untoward incidents, heritage activists however havr raised questions over the action.
The Bea Kaman, which was attached to an old house, was pulled down using earth movers. B. Venkanna, Deputy City Planner of Charminar Zone, GHMC, said that the action was taken after local residents registered a complaint regarding the structure’s condition and its impending danger. He stated that following the complaint an inspection was taken to gauge its structural viability. “Not just the kaman, but we also served a notice for the demolition of the adjoining house,” the official added.
In the recent rains, a part of the Kaman had collapsed after which the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) supported the structure with wooden sticks and barricaded the area. They also closed the route leading towards thr Haribowli area. On Wednesday night however, some locals called municipal corporation officials and informed them that the structure had begun falling. A solid piece of the gateway had reportedly fallen. On Thursday morning, the GHMC’s city planning wing came and demolished the entire heritage structure.
“Heritage structures in Hyderabad are not given much priority. These sites are been neglected by the Telangana government, and are now collapsing during heavy rains,” said Deccan Heritage Trust managing trustee, Mohammed Saifullah. He further told that the job of the heritage wing is to monitor all the heritage sites during rains. “But they didn’t, as a result the Bela Kaman in Shalibanda collapsed due to rains.” he added.
Meanwhile, other heritage activists also questioning the manner in which the GHMC officials arrived at the decision to demolish the heritage structure.
“Was the fact that the structure was not stable decided by conservation architects? The GHMC has a heritage wing. They should have looked into it and should have monitored the structure during the rains,” said P. Anuradha Reddy, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Hyderabad convenor.