The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has declared the ancient building of the Osmania General Hospital (OGH) as unsafe, as yet another chunk of the roof in one of its toilets came collapsing on Monday.
A notice was issued by GHMC's Assistant City Planner (ACP) to the hospital authorities which stated that the heritage structure was unsafe for occupation, adding that there was a 'risk of life' during the monsoon.
“We asked them either to take up repairs, take precautionary measures or vacate the building," Goshamahal division’s assistant city planner MB Gajanand was quoted as saying.
The latest development also comes days after the heads of department conducted a meeting to decide their future course of action and even considered temporary relocation of the hospital.
“It will take at least two years to construct a new building. Till then, working out of this old heritage building is not sustainable and is unsafe for all. The hospital in its entirety has to be shifted on a temporary basis to a nearby government building,” OGH, Joint Action Committee (JAC) Chairman Dr. R. Pandu Naik was quoted as saying.
Just last month, Two persons—a patient and an attender - suffered injuries after a huge concrete block fell from the ceiling.
Under the aegis of OGHJAC—all students’, employees and trade unions had been protesting since January. After nearly three months of protest, the Health Minister C Laxma Reddy, acknowledged the grievance of the staff and promised to construct a new structure. Following this, the protests were suspended.
The hospital was conceived after the Musi flood of 1908 with architect Vincent Jerome Esch drawing up the blueprints. It was built at a cost of Rs 20 lakh at the time, under the rule of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan.
The palatial structure was built in the second decade of the 20th century and thrown open to the public in 1921.
In 2015, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had proposed demolishing the building by decategorizing it as a heritage structure, and constructing a new hospital in the same premises. However, after facing opposition, the government withdrew its proposal.