Few can take their eyes off this impressive granite structure. But up close, the sighs of ecstasy turn into moans of anguish. The stately Moazzam Jahi market is not the same anymore. Vagaries of nature coupled with poor maintenance have done it in.
The chajjas and brackets in the elevation have developed cracks. Lime mortar in the roof can be seen peeling off. Vegetal growth has caused structural dislocation besides giving the edifice an ugly look. The seeping drainage water completes the picture of decay and negligence.
Caught in the hustle of market shoppers, the man in the street fails to take note of the wear and tear.
But connoisseurs and old timers, who have seen the Moazzam Jahi market in better times, are shocked at its poor upkeep.
What is most disturbing is the pitiable condition of an edifice which is a listed as a grade II heritage building.
Built by the City Improvement Board in 1935, the M.J. market was named after the seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan’s second son, Nawab Moazzam Jah Bhadur. It bears the same architectural style as that of the High Court, Osmania General Hospital and City College.
The M.J. market, spread over 1.77 acre is home to 120 shops which deal in fruit, vegetable, kirana besides chicken and mutton retail trade. The damage is more from the unauthorised sheds which have made holes in the granite structure to put up their kiosks.
A recent survey carried out by an architect for the GHMC has found the inner structure comprising shops to be ‘weak’. The architect has suggested applying anti-corrosive paint to the steel joists in the jack arch roof, water-proofing of the chajjas and brackets, scrapping of the dome to remove the loose particles besides repainting of the joints.
Chemical cleaning of the stone structure, sivara (plastering), repair of the damaged Shahbad flooring besides correction of the dampness through lime concrete is also suggested.
The conservation and restoration plan of the M.J. market is expected to cost Rs. 3 crore. “The proposal will be placed before the standing committee soon to gets its approval,” said K. Srinivasa Rao, additional director, Heritage, GHMC.
All the unauthorised sheds are planned to be removed before taking up the restoration work.
For the first time after it was built 77 years ago, the M.J. market will be getting a facelift. Better late than never.