A top Telangana official has promised to restore Hyderabad's iconic Moazzam Jahi market in the heart of the city and restore it to its former glory with the help of the public.
Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar said that the restoration would be completed in four months.
"Based on the advice of Municipal Minister KT Rama Rao, I am adopting MJ Market for its complete heritage restoration. My time frame is 3 to 4 months. Seeking suggestions and participation of Hyderabadis in this effort," he tweeted.
He also attached images of the present state of the iconic market, which is currently covered in garbage and filth.
"Please send your contact details at email@example.com and mention what is it you wish to get involved in. We will be delighted to have you on board our 'Team MJ Market Restoration'," Arvind Kumar added.
Kumar also engaged with several citizens on Twitter, who had sent in their suggestions.
"There are century-old water taps, and we will try and restore them. Isn’t this exciting?" Kumar asked in response to one suggestion.
When one citizen pointed out that water leakage and the erection of banners were the main reasons for the structure losing its sheen, Kumar said that both issues were being attended to.
Responding to one suggestion that the Aga Khan Foundation, which is presently restoring the Qutub Shahi Tombs, could be approached, Kumar said that he would get in touch with them.
Based on the advice of Minister @KTRTRS, I am adopting #MJ Market for its complete #heritage restoration..seen below is it’s present condition! My time frame is 3-4 months. Seeking suggestions & participation of #Hyderabadis in this effort pic.twitter.com/C6IxVaKX87— Arvind Kumar (@arvindkumar_ias) March 26, 2018
The IAS officer's suggestions also triggered a buzz in Heritage Buffs, a WhatsApp group actively dedicated to restoring the city's history and heritage.
Speaking to TNM, noted city historian Mohammed Safiullah, who is also one of the admins of Heritage Buffs, said that the entire restoration work could be completed in just two months if the government was serious about the issue.
"Since it is in the heart of the city, there will be a need to decongest it first as it is dotted with several shops and establishments," added Safiullah.
"A few years ago, the building was sandblasted. The same technique has to be used again as it is a granite structure and it can be rejuvenated in that manner," he said.
A photo from 1948 by Jack Birns for LIFE Magazine
The historian also said that the terrace of the structure had a lot of debris on it, which has to be removed.
"The most dangerous aspect for such a heritage structure is the seepage of water from the roof. Besides this, there are only a few minor repairs that might need to be undertaken," Safiullah said.
Responding to Arvind Kumar's tweet, Minister KT Rama Rao said that he would be saving the pictures, so he could compare them with pictures after the renovation is completed.
The Moazzam Jahi Market was constructed in 1935 by the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, and named after his second son Moazzam Jah.
Though initially constructed as a flower and fruit market, it now hosts several popular ice-cream outlets.