Restoration work to conserve Hyderabad's historic Mecca Masjid will begin in September, as the work order has been finalised, officials of the Telangana government said on Saturday.
Authorities said that the order was given to a private company which specialises in restoration work of heritage structures.
"The work order was handed over to Laxmi Hericon on August 16. Senior executives from the company and department officials visited the mosque on the same day. A lot of homework was done in preparing sketches, maps and drawings. Our team paid several visits to understand the structure in detail,‚ÄĚ NR Visalatchy, director of the department of archaeology and museums, was quoted as saying.
This came after a delegation of various political parties met Visalatchy, and urged her to speed up restoration work.
Last week, activists in Hyderabad launched a ‚ÄėSave Mecca Masjid‚Äô campaign, to preserve the historical monument.
The campaign was aimed at highlighting the need to restore the 400-year-old iconic masjid.
Heritage activists had pointed out that the negligence in the maintenance of the monument resulted in dilapidated walls and leaking roofs.
Mecca Masjid, a 17th-century monument, is one of Hyderabad's oldest structures and stands just a few metres away from the city's iconic Charminar.
In July this year, a portion of the Masjid‚Äôs Masjid's Shahi Mausoleum was damaged after Hyderabad witnessed heavy rains.
Even before the rains, the Masjid had numerous structural problems that required urgent attention, with major cracks developing on the roof of the mausoleum.
Despite, several promises by the government during Ramzan each year, funds to restore the Masjid and take up other developmental work go unsanctioned.
Many have pointed fingers at politicians, for remembering the heritage structure only during the holy month each year.
The work to be taken up includes restoration of the structure, as well as installation of CCTV cameras in the Masjid. Payment of salaries to the staff is also long overdue, with many of the workers not receiving payment for months.