Will CPP see the light of day?
Will CPP see the light of day, “Chaar Sow Shehar Hamara…!” every Hyderabadi says this with pride, when asked about the city.
- Charminar Pedestrian Project is going at a snail’s pace for 15 years
- Court cases, a big roadblock
“Chaar Sow Shehar Hamara…!” every Hyderabadi says this with pride, when asked about the city. Yet the most familiar and noted icon, the brand ambassador of the city, Charminar, is grossly neglected. It is a known fact that the iconic structure is being affected by vehicular and other forms of pollution. Plans to restore and make the area a vehicle-free zone had started as early as in 1993 and the Charminar Pedestrian Project (CPP) was green lit with an initial budget estimate of Rs 139 crore in 1999. Some 15 years passed, the costs for the completion of the project have escalated to Rs 400 crore but nothing significant has been done.
No plants…no battery operated vehicles
The main aim of the project was to make Charminar area a vehicle-free zone. Apart from this, the plans included refurbishing and landscaping of the exteriors en-route Charminar, construction of special pathway and developing gardens, roofing up Laad Bazaar and employing battery-operated vehicles to tour Charminar.
However, the project is facing staunch opposition from the vendors, who refuse to vacate their shops and give up land for extension of the road. The vendors say that if the CPP works are completed, people will hardly come and their business will be affected.
Works done thus far
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials say that about 50 per cent of the CPP works are completed. “Construction of footpath and special walkways from Charminar to Gulzar House has been completed. We have controlled the movement of heavy vehicles in the area, if other vehicles and traffic is diverted, the landscaping works would be completed within no time,” informed Srinivasa Rao, additional chief city planner.
He stated that the corporation was facing problems as people were reluctant to give up lands for the extension. “The outer ring road works in Old City was done by 2000. If people are willing to give their land, particularly at Mitti ka Sher, the works will be done quickly as nearly 80 per cent of the inner ring road around Charminar is completed,” he added.
Court cases slowing down works
Inner ring road around Charminar and outer ring road encompassing the High Court, Salarjung Museum and Falaknuma Palace have been planned to divert the traffic from the Charminar area.
“As part of the road extension, the government has acquired about 500 different properties. However, about 30 per cent of the property owners have approached the courts and the cases are pending ever since. If judgement is delivered in these cases the works will be expedited at a fast pace,” informed Dhan Singh, engineer-in-chief, GHMC.