Sudhakar is a worried man. He points to his wife, lying on a bed in a room with questionable hygienic conditions.
"I came today morning as she had high fever, and I am worried about her. I know that the place is dirty, but what other choice do I have? I can't take her to a private hospital," he says, sobbing quietly.
Even as one looks around, a stray cat calmly strolls into the ward, unperturbed by the people in the room. It sniffs the floor for any crumbs of food, before making its way to the far end of the ward and disappearing from sight.
This is the condition at the oldest block in Hyderabad's iconic Osmania General Hospital (OGH)
Though the in-patient (IP) block sees a large influx of patients everyday, it is in dire need of repair and restoration, as plaster and paint is falling off both outside and inside the building.
Further queries reveal that the cat that was seen inside the ward, was not an isolated incident.
"We even have to shoo away dogs that enter the building sometimes. It is a nuisance. In the rainy season, flakes fall from top of the rooms which have not been renovated. Even water entered some of the rooms last year," says one of the nurses.
There have also been reports of the animals stealing food that was brought for the patients, by their friends and family.
The building in question is close to a century old, and is considered to be one of the oldest hospitals in India.
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.
Today, the building lies in neglect. The corner of every staircase is splattered with 'paan' stains, and the lift used to take stretchers up and down, looks downright dangerous.
In 2015, the Telangana government drew a lot of flak from historians and activists after it planned to delist and demolish the IP block of the hospital.
The state's Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, had visited the hospital the same year, and called for high rises in place of the landmark structure.
He claimed that two towers, 24 floors each, would be constructed in its place.
However, following heavy criticism of the move, the decision was postponed.
(KCR inspecting the hospital in 2015, ahead of the proposed demolition)
Stating that the damage was on account of poor maintenance and untimely upkeep of the monument, the activists had called for renovation and restoration of the building, and asked for it to be preserved.
Even the Nizam's descendants asked that the building be converted into a health museum.
“It’s more than a building. A lot of historic significance is attached to it. It is the first hospital of a historic city and in no place do you find such an impressive building constructed to house a hospital by any ruler,” Sahibzadi Rasheedunnisa Begum, granddaughter of Mir Osman Ali Khan, had said at the time.
Most of them also agreed that the building was no longer viable to host patients, and asked the state to consider alternate tracts of land around the building for a new IP block.
The block occupies roughly two acres of the total 25 plus acre land on the banks of the river Musi that the state owns.
In July 2015, an 'evacuation drive' began, to shift patients out of the dilapidated building, to a stronger structure. However, the drive hardly lasted a month as things went back to normal by the first week of September.
A year later, the building was back in the news, as water entered one of the operation theatres during the rainy season, along with rubble from the roof.
(The operation theatre remains closed)
A few months later, the situation is still the same, as many doors and windows are falling apart due to old age.
Even the building attached to the IP block, which houses the offices of several hospital officials, is no better.
Despite being plagued with issues, authorities remain dodgy.
When TNM tried to meet OGH Superintendent Dr GVS Moorthy, the reporter was asked to meet with Dr K Anjaiah, Resident Medical Officer (RMO), of the hospital.
However, Dr Anjaiah refused to comment on the issue, saying, "These are all policy issues, and I'm not the right person to speak to. Please speak to the superintendent."
A second attempt to meet the superintendent also failed, following which the reporter was told that the Telangana State Medical and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSMIDC) is responsible for the repair works of the hospital.
When a deputy executive engineer from TSMIDC was contacted, he stated that his seniors would get back, and stopped answering further phone calls.
According to reports, Rs 200 crore has been sanctioned to the hospital over the past few years, but only Rs 35 to Rs 40 crore were spend, mostly on cosmetic repairs.
As far as the official word on shifting the patients and renovating the historical structure goes, there seems to be none.