Will Old City’s fortunes be revived?

Will Old City’s fortunes be revived?
Highlights

Will Old City’s fortunes be revived? Old City has 400 years of glorious history. Structures and the lifestyle of the people still represent the culture of the Nawabi era.

Special master plan required: Experts

Old City has 400 years of glorious history. Structures and the lifestyle of the people still represent the culture of the Nawabi era. While the entire city is galloping on the path of development, Old City hasn’t had an equal share of it. Now with a change in the leadership, people in the Old City are looking forward for development.

The MIM which has been representing the region for more than two decades has always maintained friendly ties with parties in power at the state. From 1994 to 2004 it supported the TDP. In 2009, it lent its support to the YSR government. Though YSR had announced a Rs 2,000 crore package for the Old City, his untimely demise put the plan in cold storage.

Now the MIM has pledged outside support to the CM elect KCR and his party. Heritage lovers anticipate that the fortunes of the Old City might change in the new state.

Beehive of problems

Though developmental activities were taken up in the past few years, the Old City is still limping for basic amenities. Potable drinking water, overflowing drains, lack of sanitation and frequent flooding of most areas during rains are the perennial problems.

Babanagar, Bandlaguda, Noornagar, Hussain Nagar areas are troubled by overflowing nalas. Talabkatta, Reinbazaar and Bhadurpura are troubled with lack of drains. Load shedding has added to their woes.

Unemployment and address

issues

Unemployment is the biggest problem in this region. Many families are living in poverty due to lack of employment oppurtunities.

“About 60 per cent of the youth are unemployed and they are unable to find employment. Due to this, many are straying away from the path and are indulging in anti-social activities,” said Mazhar, who runs a NGO in the area.

“Sadly, if the address says Old City, then the requests for credit cards are not being processed by the banks. Even few schools are refusing admissions to children from Old City. Most people here are in financial crisis. Banks and schools fear that people from the area wouldn’t clear the dues,” added Mazhar.

No restoration of heritage sites

Old City has a host of heritage sites. Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Paiga Palace, Chowmahalla Palace, Qutubshahi tombs and Golconda are just few of the names. Locals even say that the stone constructions that flank the way to Charminar, which now hosts many shops, are of historical importance. Heritage lovers say that under the pretext of modernising the shops, many are tinkering with heritage structures. “While entire city is on its way to be called Metropolitan, Old City resembles a slum. The new government has to device a special master plan to develop the Old City. This development should include restoration and preservation of heritage and not at the cost of it,” said Veda Kumar, member, Forum for Better Hyderabad.

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