Hyderabad: Plea to spare blocks of heritage value at Osmania General Hospital

Plea to spare blocks of heritage value at OGH
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Plea to spare blocks of heritage value at OGH

Highlights

  • With all activities in the old building being shifted, concerns rise over possible demolition
  • Out of the 80,000 doctors of Indian origin in America, many are from Hyderabad who moved to USA in the early 70s and 80s. They want the heritage building to remain

Hyderabad: Heritage lovers want the Telangana government to spare the Nizam-era building of Osmania General Hospital, and construct the proposed towers on the vacant land. Dr Md Iqbal, 1968 batch a member of Old Boys Osmania Medical College Association says, "We are not against new buildings but the heritage block or the main building, the in-patient block should not be demolished. It only needs repairs."

Heritage activists argue there is enough land on the 26.5-acre land parcel. The government should look to construct new buildings where the paying room block, nursing quarters, nursing hostels and laundry which is in seven acres. In 2015, a technical assessment carried out by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) concluded that the heritage block of the hospital 'is in very good, structurally stable condition, without any threat to its life or that of its occupants."

The INTACH report observed the damage mostly on surface of the building was repairable and deterioration took place due lack of maintenance. P Anuradha Reddy, convenor, Hyderabad chapter of INTACH, says, "The building is strong and as per the INTACH report, it can stand tall for another 100 years."

It is for the first time since Osmania Hospital opened which is over 100 years it is closed. Dr Md Iqbal says, "Last year, 200 knee surgeries, 150 kidney transplants and 11 liver transplants were done. The hospital has a gas line, oxygen line and nine theatres. The hospital only needs repairs and the building can still be used."

As soon as the news of shifting of patients spread, social media was abuzz with speculation and fear of the possible demolition. Juhee Ahmed, a member of Heritage Buffs, a specialised group, said, "Heritage lovers are wondering what would happen to Osmania Hospital."

Several doctors in America are raising concern. Dr S Viswanath, an alumnus who is working in Chicago, said that Osmania General Hospital has a rich medical history. The renal transplant in India was done in Osmania in 1982 and the patient is still alive and is doing well." Out of the 80,000 doctors of Indian origin in America, many are from Hyderabad who moved to USA in the early 70s and 80s. They want the heritage building to remain. Sources say the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPIO) is planning to submit a representation to the Telangana Government to save the heritage building.




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