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Blatant encroachment at Qutub Shahi tombs

Blatant encroachment at Qutub Shahi tombs
Highlights

Even as the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) took up the restoration of the magnificent Qutub Shahi tombs near Golconda, illegal constructions have come up right inside the heritage precincts. With hardly any security at the site, locals have been bringing lorries loaded with sand and constructing sheds with asbestos sheets.

Even as the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) took up the restoration of the magnificent Qutub Shahi tombs near Golconda, illegal constructions have come up right inside the heritage precincts. With hardly any security at the site, locals have been bringing lorries loaded with sand and constructing sheds with asbestos sheets. The constructions which are so close to the tombs are a complete violation of heritage monument laws.

According to rules, construction can be allowed only 300 metres away from the monument. Sajjad Shahid, co-convenor, INTACH Hyderabad, says, “It is the duty of the archaeology department and Wakf Board to immediately look into the illegal constructions and demolish them. What is the use of AKTC restoring the tombs as the integrity of the site is threatened?”

Modern buildings have sprung up around the tombs

The department of archaeology and museums had entered into an MOU with AKTC to restore the site, but the archaeology department has been found wanting in stopping the illegal constructions. Sajjad Shahid says, “During the period of the Nizams itself, prayers at the mosques were stopped. People can go and pray but if they construct sheds and structures it would be a violation of heritage laws and deface the site.”

In the last two days, locals have dumped sand at night. A few months ago, a vehicle workshop had come up behind the compound wall. Other structures too have come up close to the wall. Some structures have come up at the northern end adjacent to the compound wall.

Heritage activists say that the archaeology department needs to beef up security and see that the restoration of the tombs happens without any hindrance. The Wakf board needs to step in as well.

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