Hyderabad Old City Metro Rail works in focus
Heritage lovers in the city have lauded the Telangana government’s decision on realignment of the Hyderabad Metro Rail along the three stretches. For the last few years, heritage activists have been protesting to change the metro route in areas where historical monuments stand.
While heritage activists have lauded the decision of the Telangana government to realign the Metro Rail project in three locations, they are now keen on how the move would be implemented especially in the Old City. The stretch is layered with heritage structures and a meeting is being organised on November 20 with elected representatives to chalk out an action plan
Heritage lovers in the city have lauded the Telangana government’s decision on realignment of the Hyderabad Metro Rail along the three stretches. For the last few years, heritage activists have been protesting to change the metro route in areas where historical monuments stand. The decision was announced on Saturday after an interaction between Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and L&T chief A Naik to resolve contentious issues regarding the project. The decision has brought cheers to the people of the historic city.
“It is a good sign and a positive decision. But one has to wait for the decision on the Old City stretch. The whole area is a heritage precinct. Whatever decision is taken, ought to be taken keeping in mind the character of the area, lest it gets wiped out,” said well known heritage activist, Sajjad Shahid.
A meeting with the elected representatives of the Old City and the project monitoring committee is scheduled on November 20 to discuss contentious issues. Heritage activists and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) members however have not been invited.
Sajjad Shahid said, “L&T did not conduct a heritage impact study. It is difficult to look into all areas and the inclusion of people working in the field of conservation would be of great help.”
It may be noted that the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC), HMDA, is lying defunct. P Anuradha Reddy, convenor, INTACH Telangana, says, “The decision is definitely a good one. We have been fighting for the realignment at the Assembly and Sultan Bazaar. Both have a special place in the hearts of people. But there are several questions on the Old City stretch. Right from Aza Khana Zehra via Daira Mir Momin Dargah till Falaknuma, there are several Sufi dargahs and Hindu temples.”
She adds, “Heritage activists and conservation experts too should have been called for the meeting as it would help taking decisions and avoiding protests later.”
M Veda Kumar, president, Forum for a Better Hyderabad, said, “It is a landmark decision and should be welcomed by all. Hyderabad is a historic city and the monuments have to be protected. Avoiding Sultan Bazaar and changing the route towards the Koti Women’s College shows that the government is sensitive towards heritage but one has to see how the route changes in the Old City without defacing monuments.”