Hyderabad

New road laid during lockdown erases Hyderabad's historic link

The road being laid to connect Jubilee Hills to the Old Bombay Highway cutting through a historic landmark.

The road being laid to connect Jubilee Hills to the Old Bombay Highway cutting through a historic landmark.  

The underground water channel that transported drinking water from Durgam Cheruvu to Golconda fort has disappeared

A new road project nearing completing in less than 60 days has led to destruction of one of Hyderabad’s important historic relics. The underground water channel that transported drinking water from the Durgam Cheruvu to the Golconda fort has disappeared under a wide road that will connect Road No 46 Jubilee Hills to the Old Bombay Highway.

“We started work after the lockdown began and it is nearly ready. The high-tension electric line will form part of the divider,” said an employee of the private company executing the project.

“We followed the lockdown and didn’t step out. But when we saw the area on Tuesday, we were surprised. An enormous amount of work has been completed for laying the road,” said Frauke Quader of Society to Save Rocks, who lives in Jubilee Hills.

According to historians, the much-storied water channel was the key to water security of the Golconda fort and helped its rulers withstand a nine-month siege by Mughal army under Aurangzeb. Using the natural gradient of the lake at a higher level, the water channel cut into stone and covered with it transported water for nearly four kilometres giving it the moniker Secret Lake. The water channel can be been clearly marked out in the Survey of India Maps -1973-74 including the high-tension power line. Starting at the lake on its southern side, the water channel curved towards the Laxman Bagh temple and towards Dargah, finally entering the Qutb Shahi tombs complex on its northern side.

“This road appears wide as it will have a walking track and plantations on either side. Earlier, this part of the land was used as workshop for manufacturing girders for flyovers,” said the official supervising the road project.

The road project effectively turns the Durgam Cheruvu into a rock girdled pond that’s surrounded by a spider’s web of roads. One road connects the Road No 46 to the HiTec City area with a suspension bridge. On the western side of the lake, a number of roads have cut through the rock to turn the area into a home-office-entertainment hub.

The hillocks around the Durgam Cheruvu enjoyed a modicum of protection under regulation 13 of Hyderabad Urban Development Authority.

“Beautiful lake between the new Hitec development and the rocks of Jubilee Hills. Best viewing from Durgam Cheruvu Lake Resort near Ambedkar Open University. Walking and climbing the rocky parts around the lake from the footpath that leads around the lake,” says the 1997 listing of the rocks as a protected site by the HUDA.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 12:55:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/new-road-laid-during-lockdown-erases-citys-historic-link/article31742837.ece

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