Encroachers are having a free run at the Asman Garh Palace at Malakpet, with the structure getting encroached upon in bits and pieces. The palace which figures in the heritage monuments’ list of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) presents a picture of neglect due to a lethargic administration, charge heritage activists.

A two-foot-wide peripheral wall which ran around the structure and its compound has been dismantled at several places. Recently, a portion of the century-old wall and a burj (fortification) on the eastern side of the monument, which formed part of a fortification, were demolished by a builder for constructing an apartment building. Local residents allege that the job was done during the night time.

Official indifference

“Despite submitting representations, the officials turn a blind eye to the happenings,” complains a local resident. The residents have also claimed to have approached the local public representatives in this regard.

Heritage activists allege that the HMDA and GHMC officials are equally responsible for allowing buildings to come up around the structure in violation of the rules to safeguard the heritage structures. “According to the rules any new structure coming up around a protected monument should maintain a distance of ten metres,” Anuradha Reddy, Intach convener, A.P. Chapter told presspersons after visiting the palace on Sunday.

The situation is no different within the palace premises. The St. Joseph’s Public School functions from a building constructed long ago in the open compound of the palace. “The authorities are not doing enough to keep the old building intact. A lot of vegetation has protruded out of the walls and graffiti is visible everywhere,” Ms. Reddy complained.

The structure was built in 1885 by Sir Asman Jah, whose original name was Mohammed Mazharuddin Khan. He was the grandson of the second Nizam, Sikander Jah.

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