Hyderabad, April 19 (IANS) In a big boost to heritage conservation efforts in Hyderabad, three of the old city’s iconic landmarks will get a major facelift.
Sardar Mahal, Mir Alam Mandi and Mahboob Chowk, all three Nizam-era heritage structures, will undergo makeover with the municipal authorities embarking on a project to restore their past glory.
Municipal administration and urban development minister K.T. Rama Rao along with Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday formally launched the works to conserve, restore and strengthen the heritage structures.
Sardar Mahal near historic Charminar will be developed as the cultural hub of the city, adding an attraction for thousands of tourists who visit Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Chowmahalla Palace and other monuments every day.
Rama Rao said the project taken up at a cost of Rs 30 crore will not only protect the heritage structure but add attraction to tourists visiting Hyderabad.
Sardar Mahal, a palace built in European style by Nizam VI Mir Mahboob Ali Khan in 1900, will be conserved and restored to its original structure with additional architectural designs.
It will be developed as a cultural hub with a museum, 10-12 room hotel and various activities including exhibitions and performances.
The proposed activities include cultural events, workshops, art exhibitions, heritage walks and hospitality. The project will be taken up in Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Built, Operate and Transfer concept.
According to Quli Qutb Shah Urban Development Authority (QQSUDA) which will execute the project, this will create and strengthen the identity of Hyderabad as synonym for heritage, creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation at local and regional levels and maximise the historical, cultural, social and tourist potential of Charminar area.
Though Mahboob Ali Khan built the palace for one of his beloved consorts, Sardar Begum, she refused to inhabit this token of love as it did not live up to her expectations. No one stayed there but the building took her name.
It was declared a heritage building by the Heritage Conservation Committee and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) took over Sardar Mahal in 1965 due to outstanding property taxes.
Mir Alam Mandi, also a heritage structure, will be restored and renovated at a cost of Rs 21 crore.
More than 200-year-old vegetable market is named after Mir Alam, a nobleman who served as Prime Minister of Hyderabad State from 1804 until his death in 1808.
The market has been in a dilapidated condition due to neglect by authorities concerned. The kaman or arch of the historic market is in shambles with chips falling off and posing a danger to traders and buyers.
Under the project, the QQSUDA will provide modern amenities to the traders and vendors at the famous market.
Another key project launched on Tuesday was restoration and redevelopment of Mahboob Chowk at a cost of Rs 35 crore. Located near Charminar and also known as Murgi Chowk, it is heritage structure and houses over 200 shops that predominantly sell chicken, birds besides meat.
Mahboob Chowk market was built in the early 20th century. The proposed ground plus one market complex will offer modern facilities for meat and poultry related business and better infrastructure for drainage and wastewater treatment.
The project will give a big facelift to the entire area which includes the historic clock tower, which was restored a few years ago.
KTR also inaugurated a musical fountain installed at a cost of Rs 2.55 crore at historic Mir Alam Tank.
Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi hailed the initiative to develop Mir Alam Tank as a place of tourist attraction. He said an eight-km bund will be developed with a park and walkways for the visitors.
He also urged the government to sanction a chain link bridge across the tank from Mahamoodabad to Mir Alam to ease the traffic congestion. The project is estimated to cost Rs 700-800 crore.