Officials from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), who are responsible for the upkeep of Hyderabad's iconic Charminar, have raised objection to the works being carried out around the monument as part of the Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP).
Stating that the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) could end up doing damage to the monument in the long run, Milan Kumar Chauley, ASI's Superintending Archaeologist of Hyderabad Circle, said that the state government was still going ahead with its plans, without consulting the ASI.
"The water and drain pipelines during the CPP works were laid without studying the problems it would lead to, in the monument in the long run. The ground was dug up and pipelines were laid in haphazard manner around the monument. The Charminar stands on a foundation of huge volume of granites and in the long run, if water seeps, it could cause irreparable loss to the monument," Milan Kumar Chauley was quoted as saying.
Chauley was giving a talk at Lamakaan in the city and even warned of encroachments that were coming up around the monument.
“Part of the problem is there are no revenue maps to clearly define the boundaries of monuments. This problem is hampering ASI’s work in almost all of the 3,668 monuments under its protection. Charminar defines Hyderabad. You take the name of the city and the image of the monument comes to mind. We cannot treat such a monument in a shabby way,” Chauley told the gathering.
The project aims to pedestrianise a radius of 220 metres around Charminar, by diverting vehicular traffic through the Inner Ring Road (IRR) and the Outer Ring Road (ORR). With this, it aims to beautify the area around Charminar, on par with heritage sites across the world.
The entire pedestrianisation project is expected to cost around Rs 35 crore.