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Heritage activists hurl collapse slur at TSRTC

Heritage activists hurl collapse slur at TSRTC
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Heritage activists alleged that the TSRTC authorities deliberately neglected the historical Mississippi Hangar, the bus shelter in Gowliguda, commonly...

Hyderabad: Heritage activists alleged that the TSRTC authorities deliberately neglected the historical Mississippi Hangar, the bus shelter in Gowliguda, commonly known as City Bus Station (CBS), leading to non-maintenance and eventually its collapse on Thursday. They demanded the government to explore the possibility of taking up repairs and restoration.

Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) convener P Anuradha Reddy alleged that the officials had deliberately neglected the historical structure and making the shed to collapse.

“The structure stood strong even with the neglect of RTC authorities,” said Anuradha Reddy, adding that they had visited the site four times last year and it was strong then and only the iron sheets had got damaged, which could have been replaced. “It is the RTC officials who need to explain why they did not maintain the site,” she said.

The INTACH convener demanded the government not to demolish the entire site, but have an inspection to see whether it could be restored or not. “If we go on ignoring the historical sites without maintaining them just because it is costly, then there will be no historical sites left in the country,” said Anuradha Reddy, adding that the authorities were aware of its condition and hence closed the station five days ago. She alleged that the authorities were planning to exploit the prime land for commercial purpose.

According to well-known author and city historian Allama Aijaz Farruq, the huge aircraft hangar was brought by sea and later transported to Hyderabad. "The Hangar was reassembled at Gowliguda. It was a bus depot those days. Buses used to ply from Putli Bowli to different parts of the city and districts within the princely state of Hyderabad. As passenger volume grew in numbers, the bus station was shifted to the Mississippi Hangar.”

Though the structure was meant for maintenance of air craft, the VII Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, had utilised it for his fleet of buses manufactured by Albion Automotive of Glasgow. Apart from the hangar at the old CBS, the Nizam had also imported two more hangars (Hamilton). They were erected at Ranigunj bus depot.

P Maunika, an architecture student, who was doing her project on the Mississippi Hangar said, “I was documenting the structure and was designing one such. I spoke to engineering wing of RTC, who said that there was no threat. I don’t think this was an accidental collapse.”

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