The idea is to improve decaying infrastructure without affecting the unique character of the area

They present a picture of chaos. What stands out is overcrowding and a crumbling infrastructure. Sure, Monda Market and General Bazaar in Secunderabad have fallen prey to haphazard and unplanned urbanisation. But there is a glimmer of hope that these thriving economic hubs might regain their lost glory, if the GHMC plans fructify.

These hoary markets are proposed to be developed under the inclusive heritage-based city development programme. The idea is to improve the decaying infrastructure without affecting the unique character of the area or disturbing the economic activity. A concept paper on Monda Market and General Bazaar has already been submitted to the Steering Committee, constituted by the Ministry of Urban Development. This follows the recent stockholders meeting held here to mark the ‘historic Hyderabad heritage’ campaign. Once the Steering Committee clears the idea, it will be put forth for World Bank funding. GHMC officials are hopeful of getting a substantial amount to restore these areas, along with the Musi river front.

Monda Market has close to 200 shops, mostly in dilapidated condition, in an area spread over three acres. Along with the old jail, pot market, cloth and jewellery shops, the entire area comes under the plan for rejuvenation. Solid waste management, signage and parking too have been proposed to be developed.

Established nearly a century ago, Monda Market was meant to cater to the resident British army unit. In 1988 the wholesale business was shifted to Bowenpally, but it still attracts crowds.

Similarly, General Bazaar with its century-old Jagannath Swamy temple has come under plans to be restored. This area is home to scores of stationery, hosiery and readymade garments shops. Though mall culture has caught up, people still prefer to shop here both for the variety and cheap price.

The congested General Bazaar was earlier proposed to be widened, but the idea has now been dropped as it would affect the character of the area.

“What we are looking at is heritage-specific interventions, service delivery infrastructure, engagement with the community and poverty alleviation vis-à-vis city wide improvement,” says K. Srinivas Rao, additional director, Heritage, GHMC.

This apart, development of the 3.5-km stretch between Puranapul and Chaderghat is also on the anvil. The Musi river front on both sides of the road would be developed with driveways, landscaping and promenades. A retaining wall in traditional stonework too would be raised.

For this, authorities have to remove some encroachments and acquire land in the Musi river bed, which is now being used for cultivation of grass. City College, State Library and Osmania General Hospital – all heritage structures – will also get a facelift.

GHMC also plans to take up the CPP left-over works such as Gulzar Houz to Charminar stretch, signage and improvement of heritage walk routes. Besides the Puranapul to Golconda road, which has several heritage structures such as Toli Masjid, domes, mosques and temples too would be restored.

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