Hardly a month after the Love Hyd typographical structure was installed at Tank Bund on the banks of the picturesque Hussain Sagar lake in the city, the popular selfie-spot has sustained damage due to the heavy influx of tourists and visitors.
The red-and-white installation is now marred by dirty foot-prints and security guards on duty find it increasingly difficult to ensure its proper maintenance.
â€śWhat with Christmas and New Year, the rush of visitors has only increased and it is becoming really hard for us to manage,â€ť says Mohammad Ismail -one of the security guards- while speaking to The News Minute.
According to him, several groups of youngsters come after 11 in the night and climb on the monument to click selfies, thereby making the structure even dirtier: â€śIt is difficult to try and stop them, as most of them are drunk and raring for a fight.â€ť
After a recent incident of assault on a security guard by some delinquents, the guards had put up a temporary fence to prevent people from sitting on it or defacing it with graffiti.
â€śBut two weeks ago, an official asked us to remove it. Now it has become even more difficult for us. We whistle in vain to stop people from climbing or sitting on the sculpture,â€ť rues Das, another security guard.
Those who visit or simply loiter around also tend to park their vehicles on the road in front of the structure, adding to the woes of the harried traffic policemen manning the area.
â€śThe traffic police have put up banners asking drivers not to stop their vehicles in front of the monument, but none comply,â€ť tells Ismail.
â€śThe visitors take U-turns on the road right in front of the structure, park the vehicle in the middle, disrupting traffic both ways,â€ť complains Shiv Prasad, a traffic warden on duty.
Terming the art work a headache for both policemen and commuters alike, Shiva claims to witness more than ten accidents per day, including non-fatal ones, especially when traffic increases between 6 pm and 11 pm.
On Christmas night, the spot turned into a midnight party venue for countless youngsters, making it tedious for the guards as well as the wardens to handle the crowd.
What makes it even worse for guards is that they have to stand watch for 12 hours without respite.
With not even a shade available to them in the searing heat, they keep guard with a blow of the whistle every now and then to rein in the ebullient visitors from scampering all over the structure.
â€śWe are exhausted by evening because of the heat. Earlier, when we stood guard for the garden on the opposite side of the road, we could at least stand under some tree. Shades too were provided. Here, we stand for almost 12 hours under the sun. If it rains all of a sudden, our only option is to rush towards the police station close by,â€ť shares Ismail.
The volume of visitors increases on weekends and during festive seasons, making it almost impossible for the two security guards on duty to keep an eye on all. â€śWe have requested GHMC for more staff, but officials insist that we make do with the existing ones,â€ť alleges Das.
â€śThe police have asked us to note down the numbers of the errant vehicles, but the problem continues to persist. People neither treat us well nor listen to usâ€¦despite repeated blows of the whistle,â€ť he sighs.