Issues

EFLU heritage well in a state of neglect

ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL: Built by the Nizams during Asaf Jahi period, thewell and its environs are badly in need of an overhaul in the English andForeign Languages University campus. Photo: M. Subhash

ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL: Built by the Nizams during Asaf Jahi period, thewell and its environs are badly in need of an overhaul in the English andForeign Languages University campus. Photo: M. Subhash

Surrounded by thick bushes and trees, the site is a no go for students of the EFLU campus. It is not only the eeriness associated with the place especially during nights but also the presence of the slithery snakes sends a shiver down one’s spine.

But, a closer look reveals that hidden amidst the thicket is a 200 years old heritage well, one that was once a source of drinking water to the institute. Currently, water from the well is being pumped out for the plants in the campus. Otherwise, save for a guard overseeing the pumping, and periodic visits by the snake charmers to catch the snakes, not a soul stirs towards the well.

Built by the Nizams during Asaf Jahi period, the well and its environs are badly in need of an overhaul. In fact, it is not just a well but a historical edifice with beautifully laid out corridors, platforms and decks. As one could imagine, for a few decades it was the centre for art and culture for the students but sadly now it acts as a dump filled with pieces of broken tubelights and empty bottles floating on the water that has attained a greenish tinge due to the spread of algae.

The structure is in a sorry condition with the entrance arch partially collapsed and one of the inner walls developing cracks with the roots of the neem tree growing into it. The building had a new lease of life during the tenure of Pramod Talgeri as the Vice-Chancellor in the late 90s when it was renovated and held quite a few concerts.

It started losing its glory few years ago when the institute saw new courses being introduced and buildings were constructed for hostels including a seven storeyed building for foreign languages.

“After 2008, when the last students’ council elections were held, no one had showed interest in the structure. Students and the administration seem to be apathetic towards the renovation of the heritage well,” says one of the alumni of EFLU.

An effort to rejuvenate the well and the amphitheatre was made three years ago when government engineers and architects visited the site but the plan was halted in the drafting stage itself. Even the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) inspected the site and prepared a report but nothing had come out of it.

EFLU authorities too planned to build a gallery yet concrete action is missing till date. “This was a place to celebrate the festivals and was used as an amphitheatre. We have many memorable moments associated with this place. It is high time for the restoration work”, says a senior professor, who was also once a student.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 7:35:23 am | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/issues/eflu-heritage-well-in-a-state-of-neglect/article3645507.ece