Regularises modern structure near Charminar
The GHMC seems to follow the heritage regulations more in breach. It has seriously erred in regularising a commercial complex opposite the historic Charminar in utter contravention of heritage rules.
While the authorities have belatedly woken up to the danger posed by the jazzy structure to the world heritage site status Charminar is seeking, the regularisation of the ‘Shujaiya Bazar' itself is fraught with serious irregularities. The Corporation has given a go by to rules while regularising under Building Penalisation Scheme (BPS). The structure built over 235 sqm fulfils only the maximum height restriction of 10 meters and no stilt parking and basement rule.
It has not complied with the front setback (3 meters), rear setback (2 m) and sides setback of 1.5 (m). Worse the building is regularised for residential purpose but is being used for commercial activity.
GHMC has also ignored GO 542 which says that any renovation of buildings facing the road from Nayapul to Aliabad Chowtrasta ought to get the approval of Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC).
Conservation architects feel the building regularisation should be cancelled since the GHMC action is questionable. “It is strange that after regularising, authorities are trying to find fault with the building owner. People do make mistakes but it is the duty of GHMC, ASI and HCC to check. What were they doing,” asks a conservationist.
More astonishing is the total silence of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Though it has an outpost at Charminar, the new construction has escaped its attention.
Following a report in these columns, the Forum for a Better Hyderabad (FBH) has dashed off a letter to GHMC Commissioner Sameer Sharma questioning how the building was regularised without any reference to ASI and HCC.
Since the structure falls within the prohibited/regulated area of Charminar, prior permission of ASI is necessary under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation Ordinance) 2010.
O.M. Debara, general secretary, FBH, has sought the urgent intervention of Tourism Secretary Jayesh Ranjan in the matter so that the chances of Charminar getting the world heritage status are not spoilt. “It will be a shame if Hyderabad misses the honour due to this indiscretion,” Mr. Debara said.
He has also written to the Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, and the HCC to intervene in the matter appropriately.