The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) appears to have abdicated its role of safeguarding the heritage structures under its care. Heritage status of the Charminar and the Golconda Fort is being challenged from time to time, but the behemoth of the department refuses to act.

Who can forget the spat over the Bhagyalakshmi temple adjacent to Charminar which disturbed the peace of the city for weeks together in November last? Subsequently, excavation at the Siva temple close to Charminar was reported. Prior to that new constructions came up bang opposite the monument and the ASI couldn’t do a thing about it. The encroachments close to the Golconda Fort are too many to be enumerated. The controversy involving the golf course in Naya Qila still rages on.

With all these flash points will the city monuments qualify for the Unesco world heritage tag? Even otherwise, shouldn’t the city monuments deserve the care and protection and left untouched?

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