City’s heritage loses legal cover

Govt. deletes a key clause in the rule book that notified structures for conservation

December 09, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 24, 2016 02:35 pm IST - Hyderabad:

Removing all hurdles for demolishing Osmania General Hospital and other notified heritage structures in the city, the Telangana government on Monday deleted a key clause in the rule book.

The G.O. 183 of Municipal Administration and Urban Development issued on Monday spells out the change: “Regulation 13 was added by way of amendment to the HUDA Zoning Regulations vide G.O.Ms.No.542. The said regulation provides scheme of identification of conservation and heritage and historical buildings/precincts thereon…After formation of State of Telangana, the government have considered the issue and felt that the Regulation 13 is inconsistent with the A.P. Act 1/1975, and decided to delete Regulation 13.”

Free hand

This deletion of Regulation 13 completely changes the ball game about heritage in Hyderabad. When the State government officials planned demolition of the OGH’s heritage block, they ran into the hurdle of denotification of the building.

The same was the case with the Chest Hospital building in Erragadda. With the deletion of this regulation, even private entities or house owners whose buildings were on the list of notified buildings will be free to do whatever they like. While there were 160 notified buildings nearly 75 percent of them were in private hands. Interestingly, some of the notified structures have already been demolished or modified without anyone becoming wiser about it.

The G.O. issued with the opinion of Learned Advocate General, states: “There is no substantive provision dealing with the heritage or historical precincts and conservation thereof in the A.P. Act 1/1975... Further the effect of Regulation notifying the buildings will also affect the property rights of the owners and accordingly the Regulation 13 itself is ultra vires of Section 59 of Act 1/1975.”

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