Badshahi Ashoorkhana is one of the five architectural marvels which the Andhra Pradesh wants to showcase for Conference of Parties (CoP-11)

With just a fortnight left for the biodiversity conference to begin, authorities at the Department of Archaeology and Museums are a worried lot.

Five monuments have been shortlisted for repair and beautification to showcase the archaeological marvels of the State to the visiting delegates.

While the renovation work is on at all the spots, it is the Badshahi Ashoorkhana which is giving the authorities sleepless nights.

The department’s attempt to erect fencing in front of the main gate of the Ashoorkhana was thwarted twice recently – the second time by MIM legislators.

Efforts by the district authorities to work out a truce have come to naught. Authorities are now giving a serious thought to invoke Section 145, which prohibits unlawful assembly, to carry out the fencing work.

Officials are in touch with the RDO in this regard and an order is expected to be issued shortly.

Best bet

Armed with this order, the authorities plan to install the fencing. Section 145 of the CrPC is considered the best bet to go ahead with the fencing working under the current circumstances.

It prohibits joining or continuing in unlawful assembly and its violation is punishable with imprisonment.

“Without the prohibitive order in force it is difficult to work in a sensitive place like the old city,” remarked an official. The bone of contention is the ownership of the land proposed to be fenced.

The displaced shopkeepers maintain that it is not part of the Ashoorkhana, while the department claims otherwise.

The department has taken up electrification, minor repairs, garden improvement and signage work at the Badshahi Ashoorkhana, Qutb Shahi Tombs, Paigah Tombs, Saidanima’s Tomb and the State Museum at a cost of Rs. 70 lakh. The works are expected to be completed by September end.

Washing of Mecca Masjid

The department has also undertaken a chemical wash of the historic Mecca Masjid. Though it is regular maintenance work, the authorities are trying to complete it in time for next month’s conference.

A huge scaffolding has been erected to chemically wash the two octagonal pillars of the mosque, the rectangular arcade containing the tombs of the Asaf Jahi rulers and the tower from where ‘azan’ (the call for prayer) is given. “A sum of Rs. 18 lakh is being spent for this work,” said P. Gayatri, Director, Department of Archaeology and Museums.

Black soot caused by vehicular pollution has settled over the pillars and other spots marring the beauty of the 17 century mosque.

The pillars were last cleaned in 1992. Before the onset of Ramzan the department cleaned the south, north and western walls of the mosque.

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