Despite being protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Charminar in Hyderabad is under threat from construction activity yet again.
According to a report in the Times of India, the under-construction building is on the west of Gulzar Houz, towards the Sehr-e-Baatil Kamaan, where a small hotel near the monument, is being turned into a commercial building.
Charminar, which was built during Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah's rule in 1591, is a protected structure, and any construction within 200 meters around the monument can only be done after permission is obtained from the ASI and the National Monument Authority.
â€œThe construction is going on for the last several days. But I do not know, whether ASI officials has taken note or not about the construction activity. If they had seen the construction activity within prohibited zone then the construction should have been stopped. Yet its going on despite people complaining about it and its because of sheer violation of ASI norms,'' a resident told TOI.
For a long time, heritage experts and historians have been demanding several measures be implemented, to save the structure.
In 2015, a complaint was filed against a former MIM corporator, after he allegedly struck a deal with a shop owner and took up construction of a two-storied building around 50 meters away from Charminar.
Last year, Hyderabad and the Charminar turned 425 years old on October 9.
In 2010, a report from environmentalists categorized coarse particle levels (RSPM or PM10) in Charminar as critical, and stated that it would have a corrosive effect on the monument.
Following the report, restoration works were carried out.
However, the structure still faces a threat from fumes, vibrations, dust and smoke.
Activists have alleged that this is because the upkeep of the Charminar is ill planned, irregular and insufficient.