Setting them in tune with the times

J.S. Ifthekhar
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Better days are ahead for four city monuments. Badeshahi Ashoorkhana, Hayath Bakshi Begum mosque, Miyan Mishk mosque and Raymond Tomb are in for some much-needed repairs. Under the 13{+t}{+h}Finance Commission grant of Rs. 100 crore, the Department of Archaeology and Museums plans to take up repair and conservation of these important structures.

The technical committee of the department has already given its approval, and once the administrative sanction is obtained, the process of e-tendering will be set in motion. Repairs to Badeshahi Ashoorkhana were taken up during the Biodiversity Conference held in October last, but the work was left incomplete. The unfinished job will now be done. The department has earmarked a sum of Rs. 60 lakh for the purpose.

The dilapidated Niyaz Khana, Sarai, Mujawar’s (caretaker) house, flooring and the massive wooden gate are proposed to be repaired. Besides, the brick masonry work and teakwood frame of the Qutb Shahi Ashoorkhana will be repaired. Fencing work of the Chabutra and Guard Room in front of the protected monument is also on the cards. But the authorities do not want to declare when this work will be taken up since it had touched off a confrontation with the shopkeepers earlier.

These structures situated in the Ashoorkhana building complex need removal of dead lime plaster, restoration of the spoiled edges of the ornamental portions, painting of beams and rafters. However, repair of Naqar Khana, which suffered extensive damage to its roof during the recent rains, has been shelved for a later date. “The restoration job will be completed before March next”, said K.P. Rao, Director, Department of Archaeology and Museums.

Monsieur Raymond’s tomb in Moosarambagh is also proposed to be repaired at a cost of Rs. 30 lakh. Besides the removal of rank vegetation, internal pathways will be laid. Plans to set up a canon museum here have been deferred for want of adequate security. Only recently, the Department engaged 150 security guards when it had 604 museums and monuments in the State. Last year, the agency providing outsourced security pulled off for non-payment of its salary bills.

Another Qutb Shahi structure, the sarai attached to the Hayat Bakshi Begum mosque in Hayathnagar, is also proposed to be repaired. The Sarai once served as a rest house to weary travellers. The plaster on the roof and walls of the sarai has chipped off. The original lime-mortar material will be used to repair the Sarai at a cost of Rs. 50 lakh. Similarly, the Mian Mishq mosque at Purnapul has also been taken up for restoration.

In other parts of the State, the Department has identified 84 structures for repair and conservation at a cost of Rs. 14.76 crore. Some of them include Alluri Sitaramraju tomb in Narsipatnam, Dutch cemetery of Bhimili, Kondapally Fort, Victoria Jubilee Museum, Vijayawada, and Kondaveedu Fort in Guntur district.

“These works we hope to complete by March 2015 when the 13{+t}{+h}Finance Commission period ends”, Mr. Rao said.



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