Rules hinder protection of heritage sites

Stakeholders decry Telangana government’s apathy in protecting heritage sites

Stakeholders of heritage sites in Hyderabad expressed their anguish about how their legacy is proving to be a bane as they are caught between tough rules and whimsical officers of the State.

“I don’t want help from the government. I don’t want their technical expertise, materials or knowledge. If they let me carry on with the restoration of the temple without interference it is enough,” said the custodian of the Sita Ram Bagh temple in the city. “It appears as we are being penalised for inheriting heritage property,” said Faiz Khan, a Paigah scion.

At a one-day workshop on ‘Inclusive and community participatory heritage management’ organised by UNESCO in collaboration with Intach and GHMC, many stakeholders blamed the government for the state of heritage sites in the city.

“We will form a citizens’ heritage committee and take steps to ensure the city’s legacy is protected and developed,” said Sajjad Shahid of Intach summing up the mood of the participants. Despite weeks after the Telangana High Court verdict on Erram Manzil, there has been no movement towards constituting heritage committees by the State government hobbling conservation effort. “From the time Regulation 13 was scrapped we have lost six or seven structures unless civil society acts, we will lose more,” Mr. Shahid said.

“The Telangana government is not serious about heritage. It has no respect for heritage or the city’s past. The Hillfort Palace is next in line and is being targeted for its land,” said Deepak Gir, who marshalled resources to clean up the former residence of Nizamat Jung, a few weeks back.

“Heritage, tourism and development are some of the key components towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals,” said Junhi Han of UNESCO, Delhi. “Involving stakeholders and the community to safeguard heritage is the only way to go. Heritage has to be seen in its entirety. We need to incentivise the protection of heritage,” said Navin Pilani of Intach.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 4:18:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/rules-hinder-protection-of-heritage-sites/article30088692.ece

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