The century-old Osmania General Hospital (OGH), which has always been in news for its dilapidated conditions, is finally getting a revamp. The hospital, which was on its last legs, had often seen protests by its staffers for better infrastructure and hygienic conditions. The Telangana government on Wednesday finally agreed to release Rs 25 crore for the hospital building's repair. This comes as a welcome move as the hospital provides treatment for free to a lot of poor families in the state.
Health minister Eatala Rajendar sat down with hospital authorities to discuss new design plans for the building. The proposal had been on his table for quite a while but was pending due to continuous elections in the state from last year.
The move comes after the state archaeological department came up with a plan to strengthen the structure and submitted the proposal to the government. The government has agreed to release Rs 5.27 crore for the makeshift arrangements and accommodate some departments at the department of cardiology. The Health Minister has suggested authorities to prepare designs for construction of four new blocks including one for hospital, one for nursing school and college, a hostel for house surgeons and PG doctors and another block for kitchen and dining purposes.
The Osmania General Hospital was built by Mir Osman Ali Khan in 1919, the last of the Nizams in Hyderabad and provided free treatment to its patients, food, medicines and other facilities to the attendees as well. The hospital started crumbling down due to years of neglect and this led to protests from the doctors and other staffers in the hospital demanding for an urgent restoration of the building. With roofs caving in and stinking washrooms, patients have time and again demanded for better hygienic conditions in the hospital.
Thanking the state government, the Nizam’s family welcomed the announcement on Wednesday. Speaking to media, Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, grandson of Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan, said, “We are grateful and thankful to the Chief Minister of Telangana and Health Minister Etala Rajender for announcing Rs 25 crore for restoration of Osmania General Hospital heritage building, and for construction of four new towers, which was long awaited.”
He further said that it was disheartening for the members of the Nizam family to see a structure, which was built with great vision, in such a sorry state.
In 2015, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had proposed a plan to demolish the building which sparked outrage among heritage activists and the CM was quick to retract his statement.