Letter to G.P.Rao on Gandhi MedicalCollege
Letter to Sanjay jaju on Charminar precincts
Letter to jayesh ranjan on Distruction of heritage-gmc
Letter ON Moulali Kaman Chowmahalla
Taramati Baradari “Baradari isn't anybody's jagir”
presentation of Dilkusha Guest House
epresentation of Madras-E-Aliya,Gunfoundry
fforts put on to save G-Block Building(Saifabad Palace)in A.P.Secretariat
Professionals care for Hyderabad Heritage
Heritage Walk
Workshop for School Children & Teachers
Heritage information and letters INCENTIVES FOR OWNERS OF HERITAGE BUILDINGS
PROPOSAL SUBMITTED TO THE STATE GOVT
G' Block in the Secretariat premises Writ Petition No 22263 of 2004
Adil Alan Mansion No 4975 and 6505 of 2004
Golconda Fort, Raymond's Tomb, Malwala Palace & Chowmahalla Palace W.P. No. 7631/2002
Road Widening in Charminar Precinct W.P No 203B7 of 2001
 
Date: 04-10-2012
Honourable Minister of Tourism, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad.
Dear Sir, A memorandum re golf tournament for the delegates to the COP 11 at Hyderabad golf course.
We thank you for organizing the momentous COP 11 at Hyderabad. We are proud of this glory of our city and offer our sincere co-operation. We hope that this event will initiate new channels of communication with world experts not merely with the government but also the NGOs working on conservation of environment, natural and historic in mutually interesting areas.

We are disturbed to learn from press reports that a two- day golf tournament for COP Delegates at the Hyderabad golf course is being organized by the Hyderabad golf association, backed by the Tourism Department of the State Government, stating the Golf Course as a government project.

The Tourism department is showing a wrong exhibit to the delegates. Its creation is contrary to the spirit of COP. The Hyderabad golf course is created, and is being created, by destroying different facets of nature, shrinking water bodies, changing contours, and destroying the heritage character of notified ancient monument of Naya Qila Fort, an integral part of Golconda Fort. The Game of Golf teaches one to accept Nature, in all its facets , and to cope with these , not by altering these, nor by changing the character of the Site, for playing golf. Yet, exactly the opposite was done by the Hyderabad golf course. The Allocation of the sites for the golf course was conceptually wrong : such as,

Naya Qila Fort, a virgin unexplored territory , its site integrity being its USP as a Heritage site, its sub-soil remains likely to be culturally significant as it was a well- populated place with two large mosques - already coins, artifacts were unearthed while laying the golf course ; the change of contour to level the ground , breaking rocks, for laying the golf course, often by use of heavy machinery , causing surface disturbances to un-explored sub- soil remains;

Jamalikunta , originally a Kunta or water body; Shatam Talab, an ancient lake .
The separation of the three parts of the golf course, by moat Walls and moats with water, and the need for a Connect among these parts , the uneven and rocky terrains of the site , would invariably lead to undo, break, fill up these , as the case may be. Precisely, these happened and continue to happen.

A PIL with the AP High Court challenging the location of a golf course in Naya Qila, is continuing. On a reference made to the Heritage Conservation Committee , as Golconda Fort including Naya Qila is a heritage precinct, the Committee observed : the work involved is a major developmental activity and they are not in favour of Golf course inside or adjacent to, and within 30 metres from the boundary walls of Golconda Fort precinct.

The ownership of the project by the State Tourism department does not diminish the impropriety of its creation. The project was never gazetted as a‘Public Purpose’ project unlike the Bird Sanctuary project, which was so declared and which was relevant to the Site abounding in varieties of birds, and for which farmers’ lands were acquired.
A brochure detailing the improprieties of the golf course is attached. A soft copy of it has also been sent.
Downlaod Brochure
 
Date : 04-10-2012
Jayanti Natarajan,
Honourable Minister of Tourism
Government of India, New Delhi
Madam, A memorandum re golf tournament for the delegates to the COP 11 at Hyderabad golf course.
We are proud of our State Government for organizing the momentous COP 11 at Hyderabad. We are sure you share this pride, being from the State. We offer our sincere co-operation. We hope that this event will initiate new channels of communication with world experts not merely with the government but also the NGOs working on conservation of environment, natural and historic in mutually interesting areas.

We are disturbed to learn from press reports that a two- day golf tournament for COP Delegates at the Hyderabad golf course is being organized by the Hyderabad golf association, backed by the Tourism Department of the State Government, stating the Golf Course as a government project.

The Tourism department is showing a wrong exhibit to the delegates. Its creation is contrary to the spirit of COP. The Hyderabad golf course is created, and is being created, by destroying different facets of nature, shrinking water bodies, changing contours, and destroying the heritage character of notified ancient monument of Naya Qila Fort, an integral part of Golconda Fort. The Game of Golf teaches one to accept Nature, in all its facets , and to cope with these , not by altering these, nor by changing the character of the Site, for playing golf. Yet, exactly the opposite was, and is being, done by the Hyderabad golf course.

The Allocation of the sites for the golf course was conceptually wrong : such as, Naya Qila Fort, a virgin unexplored territory , its site integrity being its USP as a Heritage site, its sub-soil remains likely to be culturally significant as it was a well- populated place with two large mosques - already coins, artifacts were unearthed while laying the golf course ; the change of contour to level the ground, breaking rocks, for laying the golf course, often by use of heavy machinery, causing surface disturbances to un-explored sub- soil remains; Jamalikunta , originally a Kunta or water body; Shatam Talab, an ancient lake .

The separation of the three parts of the golf course, by moat Walls and moats with water, and the need for a Connect among these parts , the uneven and rocky terrains of the site , would invariably lead to undo, break, fill up these , as the case may be. Precisely, these happened and continue to happen.
A PIL with the AP High Court challenging the location of a golf course in Naya Qila, is continuing.
On a reference made to the Heritage Conservation Committee , as Golconda Fort including Naya Qila is a heritage precinct, the Committee observed : the work involved is a major developmental activity and they are not in favour of Golf course inside or adjacent to, and within 30 metres from the boundary walls of Golconda Fort precinct.

The ownership of the project by the State Tourism department does not diminish the impropriety of its creation. The project was never gazetted as a Public Purpose project unlike the Bird Sanctuary project, which was so declared and which was relevant to the Site abounding in varieties of birds, and for which farmers’ lands were acquired.

A brochure detailing the improprieties of the golf course is attached. A soft copy of it has also been sent.
 
Date: 04-10-2012
The Organizers of COP 11 at Hyderabad
Dear Sir(s), Proposed two- day golf tournament of COP Delegates to the Hyderabad golf course
On October 13 – 14 , 2012.
We welcome you to our City . We are sure that from the COP 11 conference, we shall learn a lot from you and initiate new channels of communication with you on mutually interesting areas.

We are disturbed to learn from press reports that a two- day golf tournament for COP Delegates at the Hyderabad golf course is being organized by the Hyderabad golf association, backed by the Tourism Department of the State Government stating the Golf Course as a government project.

The Spirit of the game of Golf teaches one to accept Nature, in all its facets , and to cope with these to play golf, not by altering these, nor by changing the character of the Site, for playing golf. The Hyderabad golf course, on the contrary is, and being, created, by destroying different facets of Nature, shrinking Water bodies, changing Contours, and Destroying the Heritage character of notified ancient monument of Naya Qila Fort, an integral part of Golconda Fort. The Allocation of the sites for the golf course was fundamentally wrong : such as, Naya Qila Fort, a well-populated area with two large mosques, a virgin unexplored territory , its site integrity being its USP as a Heritage site, its sub-soil remains likely to be culturally significant as it was a well- populated place with two large mosques - already coins, artifacts were unearthed while digging and leveling by the Hyderabad golf club for laying the course ; the Change of Contour by use of heavy machinery causing Surface disturbances to un-explored sub- soil remains;

Jamalikunta , originally a Kunta or water body; Shatam Talab, an ancient lake; not at all pertinent to a golf course; The Separation of the three parts of the golf course, by Moat Walls and Moats, and the need for a Connect among these parts , the Uneven and Rocky terrains of the Site , would invariably lead to undo, break, fill up these , as the case may be. Precisely, these happened and continue to happen.

A PIL with the AP High Court challenging the location of a golf course in Naya Qila, is continuing.
On a reference made to the Heritage Conservation Committee as Golconda Fort, including Naya Qila, is a heritage precinct, the former observed: the work involved is a major developmental activity and they are not in favour of Golf course inside or adjacent to, and within 30 metres from the boundary walls of Golconda Fort precinct.

It is for you to decide, whether in context of the objectives of the Conference, you should agree to the visit to the golf course to play thereat, which will give it enormous publicity and cover up the impropriety of this Nature and Heritage – destroying project; Or decline the invitation. The ownership of the project by the State Tourism department does not diminish the impropriety of its creation. The project was never gazetted as a ‘Public Purpose’ project unlike the Bird Sanctuary project, which was so declared and which was relevant to the Site abounding in varieties of birds, and for which farmers’ lands were acquired. A brochure detailing the improprieties of the golf course is enclosed.
 
Date: 21-01-2010

Commissioner,
Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority

Dear Sir, Sub: Measures for Heritage Conservation

We are concerned that Heritage Buildings ( HBs) are fast disappearing and the character of the Heritage Precincts ( HPs) are also not maintained. This phenomenon is due to the non-implementation of the laws & rules passed so imaginatively and on a pioneering basis by the A.P. State Government . Also, these laws and rules need supplementation . In the following paragraphs we suggest some measures for the protection of heritages of the city. We shall be glad you will kindly examine these suggestions. Thereafter, a joint meting with us and  all concerned government departments and agencies may be organized to finalise a course of action for the protection and promotion of heritages of the city. We shall await your urgent response. Measures suggested: Heritage buildings, Heritage Precincts, and  Archeological sites are fast disappearing, warranting a serious and concerted comprehensive strategy for heritage conservation.  Accordingly, the following measures are suggested by us.
  • Allocation of a regular budget for regular maintenance of government-owned HBs.  As of now it is observed that in several cases, no / little funds are allocated for their maintenance; therefore, they are not maintained, and after some time they are declared unsafe for use and de-listed.
  • Need for creating and maintaining a panel of conservation architects / engineers by the state government for the maintenance and the valuation of HBs / HPs, from a heritage angle. [The assistance of INTACH may also be sought for the purpose]. At present, the R & B Department is charged with the responsibility of maintenance; and they evaluate an HB/ HP   only from the  cost of maintaining a unit and  the  benefit derived from its use; also, from the angle of the alternative use  of the land occupied by it by raising a modern structure on it and deriving more economic benefit  there from.   In the process, HBs / HPs do not get the attention they deserve.

  • Need for supplementing the incentive scheme of incentives for the owners of the privately owned heritage buildings. An incentive scheme was already submitted by INTACH, Hyderabad chapter in 2005 suggesting that the funding for incentives could be drawn from Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission ( JNNURM). A summary of the incentive scheme proposed is appended. Also a few of the other suggestions made by INTACH, Hyderabad chapter are appended.
  • Restoration of Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) which is lying defunct from April 2009.  The matter has already been taken up with HMDA at several levels and despite repeated contacts with them, is lying pending. It has been taken up by INTACH, Hyderabad chapter also. The HCC is a bulwark against removal / disfiguring  of HBs / HPs. The Chennai High Court has recently directed the TN government to constitute a hcc for protection of heritages .
An annual survey to assess the condition of the each HB / HP by its concerned custodian ,e.g.,  HMDA, GHMC, concerned  Municipality, APTDC,  State Government department owning / using such buildings.

  • State Tourism Department  should take responsibility to ensure that  the HBs / HPs along the route of heritage tour are  properly preserved. They should also extend the routes for heritage tours to cover wider areas.
  • Local committees may be formed to keep watch on Heritage structures in their localities and also to explain to visitors the history and significance of the structure so as to elicit interest.
  • Periodically, say once in two years, reviewing the condition of notified HBs/ HPs and  adding to the list. Buildings proposed for addition to the list of heritage structures should be notified once every quarter.
  • In addition to notifying of heritage structures, cultural heritages should be identified such as outfits with local characters, e.g., shops for different handicrafts, clothes, jewellery, stationery, tea stalls. Glocalize the character of such outfits.  
    • So far as archaeological sites are concerned, several sites face encroachment and the Department of Archaeology and Museums is unable to protect them.  A report in the  Hindu dated 25.9.09 cites several instances of encroachment such as excavation near the Makkah Masjid; construction of a temple at burial site at Hasmathpet;  nine buildings coming up in close proximity of Hayath Bakshi Begum mosque at Hayathnagar; huts on a land belonging to the Department of Archaeology and Museums at Kondapally near Vijayawada; all these when Archaeology Act stipulates that no construction should take place within 100 meters of a protected monument. Severe shortage of security staff has only made matters worse. There are 80 persons to protect 27 museums and 560 monuments throughout the state. A request for sanction of 350 security guards is pending and the salary of 80 outsourced guards has not been paid for last six months. The Department’s request for sanction of Rs. 2.5 crores annually to engage the services of CISF on the lines of Salarjung Museum is pending with the government. Because of inadequate security, new museums at Visakhapatnam and Vizianagram completed two years ago have not been thrown open to the public.

      Appendices: Incentives scheme proposed by
       INTACH, Hyderabad chapter March 2005

    • Reduction in Property tax, if not total exemption, of heritage buildings. Kolkata  State Convener of INTACH , in a recent meeting with Mr. Shravankumar at New Delhi, said Kolkata is considering similar relief for heritage buildings.  At Ahmedabad, reportedly, house tax is reduced by the Municipal corporation by  50% of the normal tax on heritage buildings. .While the loss to state government revenue will be miniscule,  the relief measure will  release  funds to the owner which he would have otherwise paid toward taxes. More importantly, it  will have  a salutary psychological impact on the owners of heritage buildings to conserve their building. It should, however, be stipulated by the respective municipal corporation that the availability of such relief  will be subject to review and would depend on the state of maintenance of the heritage building.
    • Funds  for conservation of heritage buildings owned by private owners. Set apart a part of the property taxes collected  for Conservation of Heritage Buildings. In Kerala ,  50% of the House tax is proposed to be set apart for Conservation of Heritage Buildings. Laws and rules are yet to be notified. We can plan on similar lines.
    • Cash incentives with proper follow-up and review. In extreme cases, provide cash incentives to the owners to take up repairs and make the buildings suitable for conservation, and use. Where cash incentives are provided, ensure adequate supervision by a team of conservationists INTACH to play a big role. Formation of a Task Force would be an integral part of any scheme for Restoration/ Renovation or Repair of an HB
    • Subsidised loans. Work out a scheme for loans at subsidised  rates to owners of heritage buildings for maintenance, repair, conservation for use. At Ahmedabad , loans are  provided at low interest  at 5% P.A. through HUDCO in collaboration with Government of France. The Government of France  bears the difference of loan granted by HUDCO at 9.5% by bearing a subsidy of 4.5%.
    • Permit change of use ( from say, residential to commercial)  of Heritage Buildings. Commercial use of heritage buildings, such as motels, hotels, museums, etc, under proper conservation of heritage value, will fetch higher revenue to the owner. 
    • Take the Heritage Buildings  outside the purview of the Tenancy Act.
    • If a Heritage Building is given on rent, the lease rent deed should be exempt from stamp duty.
    • When a Heritage Building is sold, the buyer should be exempted from paying stamp duty on registration..
    • Expenses incurred on maintenance of a Heritage Building should be eligible for  exemption  from Income Tax.
    • TDR should be made available to the lessee of a Heritage Building

      
         The above incentive measures will expand the market for sale and purchase of Heritage Buildings, and to retain them as such, because of the reliefs proposed.  While, under the present regulation 13, any buyer of a Heritage Building is bound to retain its character as a Heritage Building, he will, if the proposed reliefs are granted, find it profitable to invest in buying a  Heritage Building , and conserving it,  and using it while retaining its character as Heritage Building.  This will also help in identifying additional buildings for listing as Heritage Buildings, as many owners of old buildings may come forward to apply for heritage status to their buildings, because of the incentives.

    The requirement of funds for giving incentives may be calculated and provided for under JNNURM. If the requirement cannot be calculated exactly for lack of data, funds can be provided on an ad hoc basis. 
     
    A few of some other suggestions made by INTACH Hyderabad chapter in a different context :

    • Funds should be allocated under the JNNURM for  preparing an Urban Development Plan for each Heritage Zone.  For this purpose, the twin cities  may be  divided into several heritage zones (HZ), apart from the HPs, such as Golkonda zone, Charminar zone, Afzalganj zone, Koti zone, Abids zone, Secunderabad zone. . A comprehensive   Urban Development Plan for each HZ should  be drawn up, defining  the characteristics of each zone,  its  conservation needs, the provision of   greenery, open space, parks and water bodies., etc.
    • Funds should be allocated  under the JNNURM for drawing a  revitalization plan for the skills and the economy  of the old city, and Golkonda area. Heritage is not merely structures but also culture and a way of life. This task can be given to MCH. We were advised in the meeting with HUDA that MCH is already working on this.

      Allocation of funds under the JNNURM for building a Materials and Skills Bank for conservation. The responsibility can be given to R & B department, Osmania University, National Academy of Construction.

Copies to   The Commissioner, GHMC, The Chief Secretary, Govt. of A.P.,Secretariat, Hyd.
The Secretary, Culture, Govt. of A.P., Hyd.
The Prl.Secretary, MA& UD, Govt. of A.P.,Secretariat, Hyd.
The Prl.Secretary, Tourism, Govt. of A.P.,Secretariat, Hyd.
The Convenor, INTACH A.P.State chapter., Hyd.

 

Dt: 8.1.2010

PRESS RELEASE

Restoration of Moula Ali Kaman, a heritage structure

Moula Ali Kaman is the gateway to the famous Hazrat Ali shrine in Moula ali had become unsafe as it had developed cracks after being hit by a trailer in 2006.  The gate is 200-250 years old Kutub Shahi structure and has a great architectural value.  As of now, the structure is not a notified heritage building, but has heritage features to notify.

On the initiative of several Civil Society Groups and respecting the sentiments of the local populace, it was decided to restore Moula Ali Kaman,  a heritage structure.  By keeping this points in view FBH alongwith the above said group had sent representation to the Commissioner, GHMC and to the other concerned officials for immediate restoration.  This pursuation has continued several times, later a   local person of the Kaman has filed a PIL in A.P. High Court.  In response, the High Court gave directions to GHMC to take steps for immediate restoration, but so far GHMC not initiated any measures for its restoration.  Now the State Government has entrusted responsibility to the department of  State Archaeology. 

At present scenario, the FBH demands GHMC to co-ordinate with State Archaeology department to restore the Kaman by  ensuring the safe passage of vehicular traffic  by widening the road in a planned way to avoid  traffic jams and related problems.

In this connection, Forum For A Better Hyderabad and Civil Society Groups held a Press Meet at Moula Ali Kaman gate today  i.e., 8.1.2010 at 2 p.m. for Restoration  of the Moula Ali Kaman and to speed up the work of restoration without further delay.

 
 

Dt: 6.1.2010

PRESS RELEASE
Restoration of Old Jailkhana, a heritage building

Forum For A Better Hyderabad, Civil Society Groups and  neighbourhood including business fraternity of Old Jail Khana came to know about  the ruin of a portion of Old Jail Khana, a 150 year old heritage and historical importance building of British Regime, located in Monda Market, Secunderabad through  newspapers and expressed its deep concern over it.  This building  occupies Grade II B in the list of notified heritage buildings notified in 2006.  A representation with a request to preserve this heritage valued building   has been handed over the Commissioner, GHMC and to the other officials of concerned Government Departments.

Forum For A Better Hyderabad in association Deloitte Support Services India Private Limited, Hyderabad on 9th June, 2006  rendered service to the Old Jail Complex by attending the small repairing work and painting it   as part of making sustainable impact on heritage monuments.

INTACH Hyderabad Chapter and Forum For A Better Hyderabad brought to the notice of the concerned authorities in GHMC and HMDA many a times to take measures for its restoration but in vain. The present status is the result of negligence otherwise the total building could have been kept intact.

Historical importance of heritage building:  Old Jail building was constructed by the British in 1855; since 1913 this building had been used as jail; since 1937, it has been used for commercial purposes

 

Date : 5.1.2010

The Commissioner,
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation,

Sir, Sub: Restoration of Jailkhana Grade-IIB, Heritage Building – Reg

The news item in today’s Sakshi published on page no :14 in city tabloid put us in dismay over ruin of a portion of 150 year old Heritage and historical important building of  British Regime which occupies Grade II B position in the list of notified heritage buildings of 2006 and located in Monda Market Secunderabad.

We had a privilege to render service to the Old Jail Complex by attending the small repairing work and painting it on behalf of Forum For A Better Hyderabad in association Deloitte Support Services India Private Limited, Hyderabad on 9th June, 2006 as part of making sustainable impact on heritage monuments.

INTACH Hyderabad Chapter and Forum For A Better Hyderabad brought to the notice of the concerned authorities in GHMC and HMDA many a times to take measures for its restoration but in vain. The present status is the result of negligence otherwise the total building could have been kept intact.

We request you to take immediate steps to restore and preserve this heritage building.

Copy to 1.The  Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan  Development Authority.
              2. The Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee.
              3. The Convener, INTACH, Hyderabad Chapter

 
Date: 06.01.2010
Restoration of Moula Ali Kaman, a heritage structure

Moula Ali Kaman is the gateway to the famous Hazrat Ali shrine in Moula ali had become unsafe as it had developed cracks after being hit by a trailer in 2006. The gate is 200-250 years old Kutub Shahi structure and has a great architectural value. As of now, the structure is not a notified heritage building, but has heritage features to notify.

On the initiative of several Civil Society Groups and respecting the sentiments of the local populace, it was decided to restore Moula Ali Kaman, a heritage structure. By keeping this points in view FBH alongwith the above said group had sent representation to the Commissioner, GHMC and to the other concerned officials for immediate restoration. This pursuation has continued several times, later a local person of the Kaman has filed a PIL in A.P. High Court. In response, the High Court gave directions to GHMC to take steps for immediate restoration, but so far GHMC not initiated any measures for its restoration. Now the State Government has entrusted responsibility to the department of State Archaeology.

At present scenario, the FBH demands GHMC to co-ordinate with State Archaeology department to restore the Kaman by ensuring the safe passage of vehicular traffic by widening the road in a planned way to avoid traffic jams and related problems.

In this connection, Forum For A Better Hyderabad and Civil Society Groups held a Press Meet at Moula Ali Kaman gate today i.e., 8.1.2010 at 2 p.m. for Restoration of the Moula Ali Kaman and to speed up the work of restoration without further delay.

 
Date: 06.01.2010
Restoration of Old Jailkhana, a heritage building

Forum For A Better Hyderabad, Civil Society Groups and neighbourhood including business fraternity of Old Jail Khana came to know about the ruin of a portion of Old Jail Khana, a 150 year old heritage and historical importance building of British Regime, located in Monda Market, Secunderabad through newspapers and expressed its deep concern over it. This building occupies Grade II B in the list of notified heritage buildings notified in 2006. A representation with a request to preserve this heritage valued building has been handed over the Commissioner, GHMC and to the other officials of concerned Government Departments.

Forum For A Better Hyderabad in association Deloitte Support Services India Private Limited, Hyderabad on 9th June, 2006 rendered service to the Old Jail Complex by attending the small repairing work and painting it as part of making sustainable impact on heritage monuments.

INTACH Hyderabad Chapter and Forum For A Better Hyderabad brought to the notice of the concerned authorities in GHMC and HMDA many a times to take measures for its restoration but in vain. The present status is the result of negligence otherwise the total building could have been kept intact.

Historical importance of heritage building: Old Jail building was constructed by the British in 1855; since 1913 this building had been used as jail; since 1937, it has been used for commercial purposes
 
Date: 05.01.2010
To
The Commissioner, GHMC

Sir, Sub: Restoration of Jailkhana Grade-IIB, Heritage Building – Reg

The news item in today’s Sakshi published on page no :14 in city tabloid put us in dismay over ruin of a portion of 150 year old Heritage and historical important building of British Regime which occupies Grade II B position in the list of notified heritage buildings of 2006 and located in Monda Market Secunderabad.

We had a privilege to render service to the Old Jail Complex by attending the small repairing work and painting it on behalf of Forum For A Better Hyderabad in association Deloitte Support Services India Private Limited, Hyderabad on 9th June, 2006 as part of making sustainable impact on heritage monuments.

INTACH Hyderabad Chapter and Forum For A Better Hyderabad brought to the notice of the concerned authorities in GHMC and HMDA many a times to take measures for its restoration but in vain. The present status is the result of negligence otherwise the total building could have been kept intact.

We request you to take immediate steps to restore and preserve this heritage building.

Copy to 1.The Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority.
2. The Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee.
3. The Convener, INTACH, Hyderabad Chapter
 
Date: 21.12.2009

To                                                                                                            Date: 21.12.2009
 Commissioner, H.M.D.A,

Dear Sir, Sub:   Revival of Heritage Conservation Committee ,Lying defunct since April 2009.

We welcome you to your assumption of your new assignment and look forward to continued co-operative working in regard to the various civic issues.

We would like to bring to your attention the urgent need to revive the Heritage Conservation Committee ( HCC )  which on expiry of its term was not renewed nor a fresh one appointed.  We brought this to your notice a number of times, yet the HCC was not formed. Meanwhile, a number of heritage buildings are disappearing owing to absence of a protective shield for the protection of heritage buildings.

For your ready reference, we append the text of the letter , which is self-explanatory, to the then Commissioner, HMDA on the subject . We also met him and we understand the proposal for formation of the HCC is in an advanced stage. Kindly expedite the decision.

In this connexion, the Tamil Nadu High Court directed the Tamil Nadu government by an order on Saturday, 19.12.09 to form a Heritage Conservation Committee “ as several petitions were being filed complaining of demolition of heritage buildings”.

Copy to:         1. The  Principal Secretary, MAUD, GOAP, Secretariat, Hyd.
                     2. The Director, Planning, H.M.D.A, Secunderabad.

 
Date: 29.7.2009

Appendix.
Commssioner, HMDA

Dear Sir,   Sub:  Appointment of Heritage Conservation Committee,

The Andhra Pradesh State Government was a pioneer state in conceptualizing and forming a Heritage Conservation Committee consisting of experts in listing, delisting Heritage Buildings and Heritage Precincts, and in examining requests for any modification, additions, deletions from such buildings and precincts. A unique characteristic of Hyderabad city is that it abounds in a number of heritage structures and precincts , which have architectural, historical, cultural values, etc, and the Heritage Conservation Committee played a signal role in preserving the heritages of Hyderabad. Our Constitution, in terms of Article 51 A (f), emphasizes the need to preserve heritages.

We observe that currently no  Heritage Conservation Committee is functioning . The term of the previous Heritage Conservation Committee has expired and it has not been renewed nor a new one constituted so far. This is preventing the suitable filtering of proposals in regard to existing heritage buildings and listing of new ones. A major mechanism for conservation of heritages is thus non-existent at present.

We request you to immediately initiate steps to form the  Heritage Conservation Committee as per the rules.

 
Date: 29.9.2009
Dr.K.S.Jawahar Reddy, IAS.,
Commissioner, HMDA
Greenlands Guest House, Begumpet
HYDERABAD.
Sir, Sub: Moulali Heritage Precinct, Malkajgiri Mandal
Further to our letter dtd. 20.9.2009, we have now been advised by A.P.Wakf Board, Nampally, Hyderabad that the permission earlier given by them to the Police Commissioner, Cyberabad on 26.10.2003 for erection of cell tower on Moulali rock has been withdrawn by their resolution 431/09 dtd. 8./13.8/2009 under advice to the Cyberabad Police Commissioner, and that the Waqf Board has further requested you not to grant any post facto sanction to the construction of the tower. Further, the enclosed photographs taken on 7.8.2009 would show that the tower was in a very initial stage of erection and the Cyberabad Police did not stop the work even when the violation of the regulations was pointed out to them ( by our letter and telegram dated 15.8.09 ), on the contrary, continued the work even after Wakf board’s permission was withdrawn. The Cyberabad Police did not relent even after our call and call by another delegation on the Police Commissioner. Such an approach cannot be condoned. We are firmly opposed to the erection of the tower within the rock precinct and are against any post facto sanction to the action of the Cyberabad police . We would expect from you as custodian of heritage precinct that proper penalty and other punitive action would be imposed for such violation. Further, the tower should be removed from the precinct area, affecting its beauty.

We look forward to an urgent action by you.

Meanwhile please acknowledge the receipt of the letter.

C.C: 1.The Commissioner of Police , Cyberabad.
2.The Commissioner & Spl.Officer, GHMC,Hyd, for information and necessary action.
3. The Chief Executive Officer, A.P. State Wakf Board, Nampally, Hyderabad
with reference to his letter F No. M1/122/P rot/RR/03-Suply dt 14.9.09
TOP
Date: 31.8.09
To
The Police Commissioner,
Cyberabad.
Dear Sir, Sub.: Moulali Heritage Precinct, Malkajgiri MandalConstruction of transmission tower on the hill top
We thank you for the courtesy extended to us during our call on you at your office on 28.8.09 to discuss the above matter. During the discussion, we referred to our letter dated 15.8.09 and our telegram of the same date, stating that the construction of a transmission tower on the hill top of the Moulali rock outcrop violated the State Government Order No. 68 dated 3.2.2009 which notified the Moulali Hill as Heritage Precinct under Regulation 13(1) of the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority Zoning Regulations 1981. This order says that “all Developments and Building and Layout permissions in the above Heritage Precincts shall be referred to Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority and Heritage Conservation Committee for clearance from the Heritage point of view.… no mining activity shall be allowed in the above sites.” As no clearance was obtained from the Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority, we requested you in our aforesaid letter and telegram to instruct to stop the work immediately.

You mentioned that : (1) the work undertaken was for a public purpose; (2) the work was undertaken much before the relative notification ( February 2009 ) notifying Moulali Heritage Precinct .

We replied : (1) the State Government’s enacted Heritage Regulations have prescribed an authority, namely, the Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) which is the only competent body to decide whether such work can be undertaken in a precinct and any such work undertaken without its approval violates the law. Accordingly, HMDA’s prior approval was necessary in the instant case. (2) Regarding your point no 2, earlier, in a 2001-02 case re road widening in Charminar precinct [Writ petition no 20387 of 2001], when the then Hyderabad Municipal Corporation had taken a plea that approval of ( the then) HUDA ( now HMDA )/ Heritage Conservation Committee for the road widening was not necessary as it was part of the Master Plan which was already

approved before the Regulations came into force, the Court ruled that after the Regulations have come into force, such previous plan will need to be put up to the HMDA/HCC for approval. Therefore, the work, although undertaken earlier than the date of the Notification, needed the approval of HMDA.

We wanted to know how it happened that no permission was obtained from the GHMC either. You stated that no construction work was involved and that permission was obtained from the Waqf Board, who owned the property. We said that approval would still be necessary from the GHMC, over and above the approval of HMDA, for the work.

Accordingly, we reiterated to you our earlier request made through letter and telegram, to stop further work and proceed as per the law.

You did not commit and said you would examine.

We request you once again to consider our earlier request and advise us.

A copy of this letter is being endorsed to the Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority and the Commissioner & Special Officer, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, for their information and necessary action.

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Date: 17.8.2009
To
The Chairman
Andhra Pradesh State WAQF Board
Razzack Manzil, A. P. Haj House,
Opp Public Gardens, Nampally,
Hyderabad
Dear Sir, Sub.: Moulali Heritage Precinct, Malkajgiri Mandal
It has come to our notice that a transmission tower is going to be constructed on the hilltop of the Moulali rock outcrop. The foundation for this construction has been laid right behind the Dargah, a famous place of pilgrimage which commands a spectacular view of the surrounding city. The work is under progress. The property belongs to you, and reportedly you have given permission for the construction.

Please note that the Moulali Hill has been notified as Heritage Precinct under Regulation 13(1) of the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority Zoning Regulations 1981 by Government Order No. 68 dated 3.2.2009. This order says that “all Developments and Building and Layout permissions in the above Heritage Precincts shall be referred to Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority and Heritage Conservation Committee for clearance from the Heritage point of view. … no mining activity shall be allowed in the above sites.”

The Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority has not given any permission for the construction referred to in paragraph 1 of this letter. The work, therefore, is in violation of the aforesaid Regulation. Please, therefore, rescind your order if issued, immediately and advise the Police / contractors to stop the work immediately and take such steps as are necessary for the purpose.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter.

Date: 17.8.2009
To
The Police Commissioner,
Cyberabad.
Dear Sir, Sub.: Moulali Heritage Precinct, Malkajgiri Mandal
It has come to our notice that a transmission tower is going to be constructed on the hilltop of the Moulali rock outcrop. The foundation for this construction has been laid right behind the Dargah, a famous place of pilgrimage which commands a spectacular view of the surrounding city. The work is under progress.

The Moulali Hill has been notified as Heritage Precinct under Regulation 13(1) of the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority Zoning Regulations 1981 by Government Order No. 68 dated 3.2.2009. This order says that “all Developments and Building and Layout permissions in the above Heritage Precincts shall be referred to Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority and Heritage Conservation Committee for clearance from the Heritage point of view……… no mining activity shall be allowed in the above sites.”

The Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority has not given any permission for the construction referred to in paragraph 1 of this letter. The work, therefore, is in violation of the aforesaid Regulation. Please, therefore, issue orders to the concerned officials / contractors to stop the work immediately and take such steps as are necessary for the purpose.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter

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Dt: 11.11.09

To
The Superintendent
Archaeological Survey of India,
Hyderabad.

Dear Sir, Sub: Nayaquilla Kandak Restoration – Hyderabad Golf Course Association – making of staircase from moat wall and pathway to Surang leading to NQ area.
We refer to paragraph 2 of our letter dated 5.10.09, to which we have not yet received a reply. A copy of the letter is enclosed for ready reference.

We observe that the stairs from the moat wall to the bed of the moat, to enable golfers to descend to the moat, has not been dismantled. Further, a pathway is being created to facilitate golfers to proceed to the Surang leading to the NQ area of the golf course, and boulders are being placed on the pathway. This is interference with the moat wall and the moat bed. We attach a copy of Sakshi dated 10.11.09, which shows that the pathway, which was being made when we wrote to you on 5.10.9, has already been made. We once again ask you to dismantle the stairs and stop all work. We consider this to be violation of Hon’ble High Court’s order dated 17.3.09 which directed the respondents (which include HGA, and ASI) not to take up construction or change the contours, and we shall proceed accordingly.

Please dismantle the stairs and stop any work in the above mentioned area.
Meanwhile, please acknowledge receipt of this letter.

Copy for information and necessary action to the Director General, Archaeological Survey of India, Office of the Director General, Jan path New Delhi. - 110011

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Date: 13.10.2009

To
The Commissioner,
GHMC/HMDA

Dear Sir, Sub: Constructions in the portion occupied by the Country Club in the premises of Vilayath Manzil, Begumpet railway station, Heritage building serial no 76, code 3.32, Grade – II-B.
In our letter dated.13.7.2009, we brought to your notice that a large number of constructions have come up in the above premises of the heritage building. These definitely obscure the view of the heritage building. We requested you to make a survey of the constructions done in the premises of heritage building since the date of its notification as a heritage building, by comparing with the original plan of the premises; to ascertain whether permission was obtained from the GHMC, and from the HMDA or erstwhile HUDA in terms of Regulation 13.9C of the HUDA Zoning Regulations, 1981, which lays down the scope of changes in Grade II B heritage buildings ( which includes additional buildings in the same plot or compound). We requested you to advise us the status in the matter and arrange to remove all unauthorized structures that were not there in the original plan of the premises.

We have not been advised of the action taken by you. Please do so now.

Meanwhile, please acknowledge receipt of this letter.

Copy to The Chief City Planner, GHMC, H.O. Hyderabad, for information and necessary action.

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Dt:5.10.09
To
The Superintendent
Archaeological Survey of India,
Hyderabad
Dear Sir, Sub: Nayaquilla Kandak Restoration – Hyderabad Golf Course Association – reg.
We have to bring to your notice that your office has merely closed the outer sides of the Moat wall which the Hyderabad Golf Association had cut through to make a passage and placed a slab connecting the two sides of the Moat wall. The inside of the Moat wall does not seem to be filled in, leaving scope for reconstructing the passage by removing the two outer sides. Besides, foreign slabs have been used to construct the wall. The work done cannot be construed to be ‘restoration’ work as per ASI norms, which the Hon’ble High Court has directed you to do. Please, therefore, take necessary remedial action.

Further, we find that while the entry of golfers from the Jamalikunta to Naya Qila parts of the golf course through the passage through the Moat wall has been sought to be closed, as stated above, the golf association is trying to create steps along the slope of the moat wall and also to pump out the water in the moat from that point to the Surang, leading to the Nayaqila area. This act of theirs is also beyond their authority. Please take steps immediately to stop this work and prevent the HGA from constructing any type of pathway by interfering with the slope of the moat wall and the moat. In fact, as your joint director Mr.B.R. Mani had suggested during his visit to the site last year, the path leading to the Surang could and should be permanently closed at one point.

Please advise us of action taken by you. Meanwhile please acknowledge receipt of this letter

Copy for information and necessary action to The Director General, Archaeological Survey of India, Office of the Director General, Janpath , New Delhi. - 110011
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Date:10.8.09
Golconda fort under threat Briefing to the press on Nayaqila Fort and surrounding water bodies
Golconda Fort, a Monument of tremendous architectural, historical and cultural values is under serious threat from a golf course being laid in the Naya Qila area of the Fort and in its protected areas. No formal permission has yet been obtained for laying the golf course from the Archaeological Survey of India ( ASI ), New Delhi under whose protection the Monument lies. Further, violations were committed of various provisions of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, and the conditions laid down by the ASI as a basis for arriving at an MOU to be vetted further by the Union Ministry of Law. Serious violations committed include changing the contours of the land, digging soil not permitted in the area, filling up moats, cutting through moat walls, use of heavy machinery, cutting and blasting rocks in the NQ area, moat beds and the protected areas of the Fort thereby endangering the foundation of the Fort, preventing access to tourists and the public, shrinking of water bodies in Jamalikunta area. The repeated exhortations of ASI to refrain from such acts were not heeded, even High Court’s orders under a PIL filed by some civil society groups were violated. Constructions have been made within the protected areas of the Monument. Such damaging of the site integrity of the Fort area will ruin the chances of the Golconda Fort from being recognized as a world heritage site, thereby also spoiling the prospects of tourist traffic.

Water bodies, in particular, Shatam Talab which is older than the Fort, are also under threat ; water is being drained out, constructions close to Shatam Talab and the Fort wall, and in the moat bed, is being undertaken by blasting the rocks which endanger the foundation of the Fort walls and the Fort. It is a misfortune that such work is being done by the GHMC.

We demand cancellation of the golf course project in the Naya Qila area in the Fort and the protected areas of the Fort, and its restoration by undoing all damages done. Any attempt to sign a MOU for the golf course will be strongly resisted by the civil society. We shall also march to the Assembly to represent our case.

 
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Dt: 8.8.2009
The Director General,
Archaeological Survey of India
Dear Sir, Sub: Setting up of the Golf course within the walls of the Naya Qila in Hyderabad .
As of now, our proposal to the ASI is as follows:

• No golf course in the Naya qila area of the Golconda Fort and the protected areas of the Golconda fort Monument should be allowed.
• Damages to structures, changes in contours, breakage of moat or Fort wall, and all other damages must be restored. All further changes made by the HGA or APTDCL must be reversed.
• Free access restored to the citizens especially the tourists and the local people to all the areas of ancient heritage structure.
• Immediate cancellation of the in- principle, conditional consent given in ASI letter no F.No. 26/16/98-M dated 29.11.2001, which has not yet been finalized and vetted by Union Ministry of Law.
* Demolition of all illegal structures in the protected areas of the Fort, namely: the Club House building falling within the prohibited area from the rampart wall of the Golconda fort; a small permanent building for security personnel; a wall along the road separating the Jamalikunta area of the golf course; and a fence around the golf course within the Naya Qila area . These are all within 100 metres of the Fort as defined in your notifications. Thus the provisions of Article 19(1) of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 have been violated. We request you to invoke Article 19(2) of the Act, which provides for removal of such building under an order of the Central government.

We have already filed our petition to the Hon’ble High Court in PIL no 24623 of 2008 in the matter.

We are not in favour of ASI’s signing at this stage a fresh MOU even with altered conditions, permitting a golf course within the 50 acres of land belonging to it in the Naya Qila area, and the land belonging to the state government and private parties within the protected areas of the Monument, for the following reasons :

• We do not accept that it is beyond the authority of ASI to reject a proposal for a golf course project if the land does not belong to ASI but to the government or any private person(s), if such land is situated within the protected areas of the Golconda Fort. Further, what prevents the ASI from denying permission for the golf course within their 50 acres of land in NQ area?
• If a MOU is signed now after gross violations of the conditions of the draft MOU and the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, committed by the HGA, APTDCL and other government agencies, this will amount to condonation of the violations as fait accomplice and allowing the damages to remain. This will be saving the golf course, not the Golconda Fort. This is unacceptable. Therefore, first the violations must be undone, as per a list to be prepared, restoration work done, under the supervision of ASI and certified by the latter. Further, accountability of all concerned persons must be established and punishment accorded to them. Otherwise, this will be a precedent that violations pay.
• The executant(s) of the project have not been chosen by open, competitive, global tender, and no suitable financial guarantee of adequate amount and a performance guarantee obtained.
• The project is not executed under close supervision of ASI – the latter must not adopt a ‘fence and forget’ approach ( see Hindu editorial of 7.8.09). There is no oversight by ASI, nor an oversight committee headed by ASI and joined by other local civil society bodies. Tourism department has a major say in the formulation of the project, even though they have been found to neglect heritage and are guided by extremely short-sighted commercial interests, akin to killing the goose for the eggs. Further, many key government officials seem to have free access to facilities
of the golf club, which are likely to influence their decision in favour of the club when there is any conflict of interest with the government. The Government nominees, central and the state, on the management committee of the golf do not have their duties and obligations spelt out in writing. The golf club management do have scope for influencing the decision of the key government officials by giving them any undue facility.
• There has been so far no complete investigation of the Golconda Fort’s surrounding area: the area remains still largely unexplored. In fact, its site integrity is one major reason for its being considered as a world heritage site, which will be spoilt by a golf course. Unless full exploration is made, no project like the golf course should be allowed.
• The terrain, more particularly in the NQ area, does not permit laying of a golf course, which requires deep digging for grassing, creating sand pits, for underground irrigation, leveling of ground for golf course, braking of rock surface, etc. Definitely, 19 (1) and (2) of the Act will be violated. Further, the NQ area cannot take a 18 hole golf course, and has to be connected to the other areas like Jamalikunta, etc, which are separated by moat walls/ moat. How will they be connected? For its safety and maintenance it will have to affect free access to the other sites in the NQ area. If there is any doubt about our submissions, an expert body of archaeologists and geologists may be appointed to examine the feasibility of laying a golf course within the NQ area and the protected areas of the fort.
• What the golf course management gives to the government and ASI, by way of revenue and infrastructure, in exchange for the use of the area for the golf course is no quid pro quo. Re 1/ per acre per year is surely, not enough!. The quid pro quo has not been clearly spelt out and guaranteed.
• The club house of the golf association and other constructions which are actually within the protected areas of the Fort should be removed, as per article 19 (1) and ( 2) of the Act, 1958.
• There can be no compromise on water bodies. These are governed by a separate set of laws which protect them apart from the protection offered from being situated within the protected areas ( 300 metres ) of the Monument. ASI cannot compromise on that. The water bodies must be restored to their original FTL. In fact the shrinking of the water bodies in the jamalikunta and other areas is the reason for inundation of the nearby colonies and the golf course by “greening” has contributed to it. We would never trust the HGA with management of any water body. No encroachment can be tolerated.
• No settlement can be reached except through the Court.
• In this connection, we refer to the letter dated 13.5.09 of UNESCO, New Delhi, and that dated 30.5.09 of the foreign scholars to ASI, ND, a copy each is enclosed for ready reference. These letters need full consideration by ASI, which is the custodian of Monuments.

 
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Date: 5.7.2009
Dr. J.Geetha Reddy
Hon’ble Minister I & PR, Cinematography,
FDC & Tourism, Archaeology, Museums,
Archives & Culture, Govt.of A.P.,
Respected Madam, Sub: Reference our meting on 3.7.09 re golf course In Naya Qila area of the Golconda Fort.
We thank you for the time given to us yesterday despite your busy schedule. As desired by you, we send herewith our submission on the subject in a shorter form.

With regards.
M.VEDAKUMAR
President, Forum For A Better Hyderabad.

• INTACH A.P, CHAPTERŸ FBH (Forum for a better Hyderabad) Ÿ SOCIETY TO SAVE ROCKS Ÿ COVA Ÿ CHATRI Ÿ COALITION FOR PEACE AND HORMONY Ÿ APNA VATAN Ÿ PUCCAR Ÿ U-FERWAS Ÿ FAPSCO Ÿ IFHD Ÿ HUM SAB HINDUSTANI Ÿ NATIONAL KNOWLEDGE COMMISSION Ÿ TURAGA FOUNDATION Ÿ RIGHT TO WALK TRUST Ÿ NAPM (National Alliance for Public Movement Ÿ M.V.FOUNDATION Ÿ HERITAGE WATCH Ÿ APSA Ÿ MMTS TRAVELLERS GROUP Ÿ MESCO, HYDERABAD Ÿ CENTRE FOR DECCAN STUDIES Ÿ HENRY MARTYN INSTITUTE

Encls: 1. Annexure I - Violations by the Hyderabad Golf Association
2. Annexure II – Rules Governing the Golconda Fort.

P.S.: The following persons have signed against the Golf Course in the representation submitted to His Excellency: The Governor of Andhra Pradesh.

Persons who signed on the Representation submitted to His Excellency: The Governor of Andhra Pradesh:

1. Sri.Shravan Kumar, Convenor, INTACH A.P.Chapter
2. Sri.Narendra Luther, Member, INTACH & Society To Save Rocks
3. Dr.M.Mandal, Coalition for Peace & Harmony
4. Dr.P.M.Bhargava, Former Vice-Chairman, National Knowledge
Commission
5. Sri.B.P.R.Vithal, Retired IAS., Former Chief Secretary
6. Sri.M.Vedakumar, President, Forum For A Better Hyderabad
7. Smt.T.Janaki Rani, IBPS (retd.,) AIR
8. Sri.B.Ramakrishnam Raju, NAPM
9. Mohd. Afzul, Heritage Watch
10. Sri.Rao V.B.J.Chelikani, U-FERWAS
11. Sri.Y.Rajendra Prasad, MV Foundation
12. Sri.O.M.Debara, Vright to Walk Trust
13. Mr.Noorjahan Siddiqi, COVA
14. Sri.S.Srinivas Reddy, APSA
15. Sri.M.Veerender, Salarjung Museum
16. Sri.V.V.Krishna Sastry, Archeologist
17. Sri.K.Vijayaraghavan, MMTS Travelers Group
18. Sri.M.Gopala Krishna, Retd., IAS
19. Dr.Fakhruddin Mohammed, MESCO, Hyd.
20. Dr.V.K.Bawa, Centre for Deccan Studies, Hyd.
21. Dr.Scott Kugle, Henry Martyn Institute, Hyd.
22. Dr.Vinod K.Jairath, Dept. of Sociology, University of Hyderabad
23. Dr.Rahmuddin Kemal, Member, INTACH Hyd. Chapter
24. Dr.Salma Ahmed Farooqui, DDE, Maulana Azad National Urdu
University
25. Dr.Syed Mohammed Haseebuddin Quadri, Dept.of English, MANUU
26. Prof.Baig Ehsas, HOD, Urdu, Hyderabad Central University
27. Mr.Shahid Hussain, Former Chairman, Nizam’s Private Estate
28. Sri.Sajjad Shahid, Member, Academic Senate, Osmania University
29. Mr.Amina Kishore, Maulana Azad National Urdu University
30. Mr.Aziz Bano, HOD, Persian, MANUU
31. Ameena Tahseen, Asst.Prof.DWE-MANUU

 
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Date: 17.11.2009
The Chief City Planner
GHMC, Tank Bund, HYDERABAD
Sir, Sub: Information sought under RTI Act 2005 regarding demolition of a part of Vilayath Manzil Heritage Building SL No 76, Code No. 3.32 Grade – IIB.
We thank you for your letter 2686 dt. 31.10.09, we seek following further clarifications. Our Letter dtd. 21.7.2009- Item-3 – Your reply there to : “Yes, the issue does arise because no request was received by you or permission given to demolish the building and yet the building was demolished. This is the violation of municipal rules and calls for punitive action. Please therefore let us know what action was taken, contemplated, against the unauthorized action.

Our Letter 22.9.2009- item 2 – thereof and your reply : You have said HMDA has to answer this, whereas HMDA in their letter 31.8.2009, in its last paragraph has said that “Further HMDA has delegated all development control powers to the GHMC. Hence for any further information about permission in the said premises you may approach GHMC”. Please therefore furnish the information as sought for under item 2 of letter dt. 22.9.2009. A copy of HMDA’s letter dtd. 31.8.2009 is enclosed for your ready reference.

Date: 17.11.2009
The Commissioner
HMDA, Begumpet,SECUNDERABAD
Sir, Sub: Information sought under RTI Act regarding structure near Vilayath Manzil Heritage Building-reg.
With reference your letter 31.8.2009, referring to the last paragraph thereof
“Further HMDA has delegated all development control powers to the GHMC. Hence for any further information about permission in the said premises you may approach GHMC”, we have received the following reply from GHMC vide their letter No. 2686 dt. 31.10.09:
“Heritage Conservation Committee is functioning under HMDA. Hence, HMDA has to answer this”.
Please therefore furnish us with the information sought for in our earlier letters. We repeat our queries. dtd. 11.8.2009

1. What are the constructions which have come up in the portion occupied by the country club in the premises of Vilayath Manzil, Begumpet Railway Station, Heritage Building Serial No. 76, code 3.32, Grade-II-B, since the date of the notification of the building as a heritage building.

2. Whether approval of such constructions was obtained from GHMC ; and from HMDA or erstwhile HUDA in terms of Regulation 13.9 C of the HUDA Zoning Regulations, 1981, which lays down the scope of changes in Grade II B heritage buildings (which includes additional buildings in the same plot or compound)

Dt: 19.10.09
To
The Chief City Planner
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
Dear Sir, Sub: GHMC – T.P. Section – H.O. – Right to Information Act – Furnishing certain information in respect of Vilayath manzil eritage Building, SL No 76, Code 3.32 Grade IIB - Reg
W/r to your letter no 248/GHMC/TPS/C-X/ACP-X/2009/1215 dated 1/5.10.09, we have to advise seriatim, as follows:
1. You have not sent us the enclosure referred to in para 1 of your letter. Please do so now. Please advise us specifically the lay out , location, and boundaries of the proposed Hotel cum Club building in permit no 169/9 dt 25.7.08. Also, we would like to know how a commercial enterprise as above was permitted in a residential area.
2. As no permission was taken from you for demolition of the residential portion of the building, yet the building was demolished, whether you have taken action against such unauthorized act / propose to do so .
3. We have sought from HMDA, copy to you, further clarification vide our letter dt 28.8.09 and reminder dt 22.9.09, how a part of a heritage building, namely, Vilayat manzil, was excluded from recognition as heritage, contrary to usual practice, and that further the area of the notified HB as mentioned in the Notification would seem to include the residential portion as well. This clarification is awaited.
4. We are happy to note that no permission has yet been given by you for any structure in this premises. We request you not to give any permission till the issue in paragraph 4 is clarified. Please also exercise appropriate vigilance against any unauthorized construction in the aforesaid premises
Copy to 1. The Commissioner, HMDA, Begumpet, Hyderabad.
2. The Director Planning, HMDA,Begumpet, Hyderabad - With a request to give us the clarifications sought for in our letter dt 28.8.09 and reminder dt 22.9.09, without further delay.
Date: 22.9.09
To
The Chief Information Officer,
HMDA./GHMC
Dear Sir, Information sought under RTI Act 2005 re: Demolition of a part of Vilayath Manzil Heritage Building SL No 76, Code No. 3.32 Grade – IIB.
Further to our leter dated. 28.8.2009 appended below, we have to advise that the following documentation was made while notifying the above as heritage building.

“ Vilayath Manzil – Information available in Ford Foundation Study of HUDA – Conservation of historical buildings and areas in Hyderabad city – 1984

Typology – Individual building
Ownership – Private
Architecture – European
Age (then) 59 years
Present use – Residential
Use purpose in ZDP – Residential
Structural Condition – Fair
Condition of surroundings – Fair
Plinth Area – 23001 sq mts
Built Area – 2416 sq mts
Planning Zone No: IV “

As a general rule, when notifying a building as HB, the appurtenant building and land / compound are included as part of it. Besides, the total area mentioned in the notification, and its present use as residential suggest that the residential part of the building was part of the HB. Please advise us , therefore, the correct position.
Please treat it as most urgent.

 
Date: 28.8.2009
To
The Chief Information Officer,
Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority
Secunderabad.
Dear Sir, Sub: Information sought under RTI Act 2005 regarding demolition of a part of Vilayath Manzil Heritage Building SL No 76, Code No. 3.32 Grade – IIB
Further to our letters dated. 9.6.2009 and 21.7.2009, to which we have not yet received any reply, we seek the following information under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

1. The boundaries of the Heritage Building SL No No 76, Code No. 3.32 Grade – IIB. on the East, West, North and South sides.

2. Vilayat Manzil is one building and if any part of the building was excluded from the area of the notified heritage building, the reason for doing so, and a copy of the notes recorded at your office in the matter.

An early action will be appreciated.

A postal order for Rs. 10/- is enclosed.

 
Date: 9.6.2009
To
Sri.K.S.Jawahar Reddy,IAS.,
The Commissioner,
Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority,
Greenlands Guest House,Begumpet
HYDERABAD
Dear Sir, Sub: Demolition of a part of Vilayath Manzil Heritage Building SL No 76, Code No. 3.32 Grade – IIB.
The above heritage building has two parts: a part that is occupied by the Country club and another part which was the residence of the owner. We regret to advise that the latter portion has been completely razed to the ground. Please have the position checked immediately as to whether the concerned persons have the appropriate permission for the action, which authorities had given such permission if any, and take suitable action against the offenders and to stop further damage. Please advise us of the action taken.

In the portion of the Vilayath Manzil, a lot of constructions which clearly violate the heritage regulations have been made by the Country club. This also needs to be examined and appropriate punitive action and preventive action need to be taken.

We request you to send immediately, a high-powered inspection team to inspect the site and examine the violations made. Thereafter, please take appropriate deterrent action against all the violators.

Meanwhile, please do not grant any permission for any construction, and strictly prevent any unauthorized construction in this part of the Manzil, till the issue is fully examined

Date: 9.6.2009
To
Sri.S.P.Singh,IAS.,
Commissioner & Special Officer,
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
HYDERABAD
Dear Sir, Sub: Demolition of a part of Vilayath Manzil Heritage Building SL No 76, Code No. 3.32 Grade – IIB.
The above heritage building has two parts: a part that is occupied by the Country club and another part which was the residence of the owner. We regret to advise that the latter portion has been completely razed to the ground. Please have the position checked immediately as to whether the concerned persons have the appropriate permission for the action, which authorities had given such permission if any, and take suitable action against the offenders and to stop further damage. Please advise us of the action taken.

In the portion of the Vilayath Manzil, a lot of constructions which clearly violate the heritage regulations have been made by the Country club. This also needs to be examined and appropriate punitive action and preventive action need to be taken.

We request you to send immediately, a high-powered inspection team to inspect the site and examine the violations made. Thereafter, please take appropriate deterrent action against all the violators.

Meanwhile, please do not grant any permission for any construction, and strictly prevent any unauthorized construction in this part of the Manzil, till the issue is fully examined.

 
To
Dr. C.V.S.K.Sarma, IAS.,
Principal Secretary
Municipal Administration & Urban Development
Secretariat
HYDERABAD
Dear Sir, Sub: Demolition of a part of Vilayath Manzil Heritage Building SL No 76, Code No. 3.32 Grade – IIB.
The above heritage building has two parts: a part that is occupied by the Country club and another part which was the residence of the owner. We regret to advise that the latter portion has been completely razed to the ground. Please have the position checked immediately as to whether the concerned persons have the appropriate permission for the action, which authorities had given such permission if any, and take suitable action against the offenders and to stop further damage. Please advise us of the action taken.

In the portion of the Vilayath Manzil, a lot of constructions which clearly violate the heritage regulations have been made by the Country club. This also needs to be examined and appropriate punitive action and preventive action need to be taken.

We request you to send immediately, a high-powered inspection team to inspect the site and examine the violations made. Thereafter, please take appropriate deterrent action against all the violators.

Meanwhile, please do not grant any permission for any construction, and strictly prevent any unauthorized construction in this part of the Manzil, till the issue is fully examined.

 
Date: 13.10.2009
To
The Commissioner,
HMDA/GHMC
Dear Sir, Sub:Erection of a structure in the premises of Vilayath Manzil, Begumpet railway station, Heritage building serial no 76, code 3.32, Grade – II-B.
We bring to your kind notice that the Country Club , which is using the above premises has erected a steel and corrugated structure in the compound of the above heritage building, which they let out to various commercial concerns for holding of fairs, etc, and may be deemed to be a permanent structure.
2. In terms of Regulation 13.9C of the HUDA Zoning Regulations, 1981, which lays down the scope of changes in Grade II B heritage buildings ( which includes additional buildings in the same plot or compound), development permission for the changes is required to be obtained from the Vice-Chairman, HUDA who will act in consultation with the Heritage Conservation Committee. . Such permission may be allowed provided that the construction is in harmony with ( and does not detract from) the existing building. This structure obstructs the view of the heritage building by the public and definitely diminishes its value. It should never be permitted even if it is temporary. We request you have the aforesaid structure and any other structures that were not there in the original plan of the premises, removed in so far they diminish the value of the building.
3. On several earlier occasions also, the Country Club had erected such structures against which we had lodged complaint with you. Intach, Hyderabad chapter, had also complained similarly. The structure was subsequently removed by the club but again they have erected it without permission of the appropriate authorities.
4. The present structure, on the contrary, appears to be a permanent structure, vide, the following information appearing in Country Club’s ‘Spotlight’ dated Aug. & Sept. 2009:
“For reservations ……..COVERED WATER PROOF SPACE 8000 Sft : Available at the club lawns for Weddings, Birthdays, Get together. Anniversaries, etc, contact F & B Dept 23415130, 9989068178”.

5. Vide our letter dated 14.9.2009, we brought the matter to their notice , requesting them to remove the structure, and advise us within three weeks of the date of our letter . To this date there is no response to the letter nor any action taken to remove the structure.
6. We, therefore, request you to arrange to remove the structure without further delay and take appropriate penal action against the Country Club for violations.
7. Meanwhile please acknowledge receipt of this letter.

 
Date: 13.8.2009
To

Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy,
Hon’ble Chief Minister,

Dear Sir, Sub: Golconda Fort under threat.
We, the following civil society organizations, and individuals, wish to bring to your notice the serious threat posed to the Golconda Fort and its protected areas by the laying of a golf course by the Hyderabad Golf Association ( HGA ), a private organisation, as a licensee of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Ltd ( APTDCL ).

The project was started with great speed without proper authorization of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), New Delhi, and ignoring their repeated exhortations to refrain from certain activities. In the course of execution, serious violations were committed by the HGA of the various provisions of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, and the conditions laid down by the ASI as a basis for arriving at an MOU (which has not been finalized to date) to be vetted further by the Union Ministry of Law. These violations were of a substantial natural, not to be treated as mere procedural irregularities, and are detrimental to the Monument, including the Fort wall, Moats, Moat walls and the foundations. Use of heavy machinery and blasting of rocks, filling up of moats, cutting Moat walls and constructing passage thereon, changing contours, etc., which are strictly prohibited, were made, despite opposition of the ASI.

The various illegal works undertaken in the Naya Qila area of the Fort threaten the site integrity of the Golconda Fort and its surroundings and thereby would ruin, unless reversed, the prospects of the Fort to be recognized as a World Heritage Site (and the resultant enormous tourism potentials would be lost) which is now being actively considered by the UNESCO. UNESCO, New Delhi has objected to the project of the golf course, and a number of foreign scholars from different countries have called for cancellation of the project. These advices are not being heeded and even the Hon’ble A.P. High Court’s orders to stop all works and to undo the damages and restore, have not been carried out. The Hyderabad office of the ASI has not received from the police and the district administration proper support to their efforts to protect the Monument. In fact, the Golf club has on its management some key officials of the government and it is for consideration whether such position in the golf club entails free privileges and influences their role in matters concerning conflict of interest. There seems to be more anxiety in some quarters to save the golf club than to save the Fort.

Additionally, we find attempts made by some government agencies, such as the GHMC and the HMWS & SB to dig tunnels through the Moat Wall / Fort Wall, even to dig the Moat beds by blasting. Proposals for these were rejected by the ASI. ASI’s instructions to stop the works were not heeded. We suspect there is a design to drain out the water bodies, including the Shatam talab ,in course of time. Jamalikunta area, which was a water body absorbing rain water from the neighbouring areas, has been shrunk first by dumping of garbage by the erstwhile MCH, and then by ’greening’ by the golf club. Shrinking of water bodies which are natural endowments of the State when the State is suffering from a severe water shortage cannot be permitted by overt or covert operations under any pretence.

The above is a broad overview of the situation arising out of the laying of the golf course in the Naya Qila and adjoining protected areas of the Fort. A detailed note on the subject is attached,

We request you to urgently intervene personally and cancel the project. The terrain, more particularly in the Naya Qila area, does not permit laying of a golf course, which requires : deep digging - for grassing, creating sand pits, for underground irrigation; leveling of ground for golf course; breaking of rock surface, etc., which will violate articles 19 (1) and (2) of the Act. Further, the Naya Qila area cannot take a 18 hole golf course, and has to be connected to the other areas like Jamalikunta, etc, which are separated by moat walls/ moat

C.C to: 1. The Chief Secretary, Govt. of A.P., Secretariat, Hyd.
2. The Special Secretary to Chief Minister, Secretariat, Hyd.
3. The Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Secretariat, Hyd
Water Bodies around Golkonda Fort – Violations
  • Refer to enclosed map – not to scale.

  • Blocking of openings in the fort wall by Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA) at 4-5 places without permission of ASI

  • Putting an iron gate ON the fort wall at the entrance to the golf course INSIDE the Naya Quila (NQ) fort area.

  • Fencing inside the NQ area

  • Private security guards who exert their authority inside the entire NQ area

  • The moat around the outer side of the fort wall is being allowed to be filled with garbage – thus using it as a land fill site. This can lead to the emergence of additional land in place of water space violating the original design. The land thus becomes available for appropriation by governmental agencies as was done in case of Jamali Kunta (JK).
  • Construction of half wall on Shah Hatem Talab (ST) –by HGA just in front of its office - less than 20 meters from the moat /fort wall – is a violation of ASI Act.

  • This wall encloses the island within the Talab – that has been leased to GHA for its office by AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) even though there is no golf course in its immediate vicinity & HGA already has an office in the Club premises close to JK. Is this creating a base for future plans? HGA has no credibility for developing tourism – but only golf course - so why lease land in a water body to them??

  • Possibility of another stretch of golf course coming up in a shrunken ST in future is strong…… 1. HGA office in ST……. 2. Construction of spillway to drain out water from ST…….. & 3. Location of an opening in Fort wall right opposite to HGA office across the moat……. are INTERCONNECTED and not random situations. This will be history repeating itself – the story of murder of JK!

  • Data for original water spread area for ST and JK not yet provided under RTI query.
  • Police department is not registering FIRs against various violations by HGA. However – when ordinary public ventures into NQ area, fort wall etc police is summoned by private security guards to keep them at bay & they promptly oblige. Even recent attempt to use blasting has not been registered as an FIR. Could police apathy be linked to heavy weight membership of the HGA?
  • “Flood protection” as a reason for constructing the spillway cited by GHMC : a counter

  • 1. No scientific study conducted on cause of floods. Various causes have been suggested such as construction of wall between Nadeem colony and Mohamadi colony & ST that prevented discharge from the catchments to the ST; barrier to water entry to JK through boundaries erected by HGA etc.

    2. In Aug 2008 ASI permitted putting two 1200 mm dia pipes as outlets for excess flow. Since then there have been no floods – so why the compulsion & tremendous hurry for spillway construction soon after?
    3. Permission for no. 2 is deliberately used to create confusion as also applying to permission for spillway to argue that it is legal (written corroboration available)!

    4. Two positions of GHMC – (i) we do not need permission & (ii) earlier permission is being misused for new structure – this has been quoted in the affidavit submitted by them in court. This is a blatant, conscious and willful misleading of honorable High Court. Police Commissioner takes similar views as per his response under RTI. Is there connivance??

  • Spillway is being constructed ON the moat wall – photo shows the cross section of the broken wall – hence GHMC claim in the media of being out of bounds stands belied. It is a clear and unambiguous violation of ASI Act with brazen defiance & confidence of immunity from laws of land.

  • The above is a deliberate, designed & engineered strategy for destruction of water bodies – in direct opposition to declared public policy/Acts/laws for conservation through rehabilitation of water bodies in the age of global warming & extreme weather fluctuations. During a year of extreme drought – GHMC is actively promoting protection from imagined floods!!
  •  
    Date: 4.8.2009

    To
    Date: 4.8.2009
    The Director General
    ASI, New Delhi

    Dear sir, Sub: Your visit on Golconda Fort and surrounding area in connection with the golf course layout.
    We had no prior information of your visit to Hyd to visit the site of the golconda fort and its surrounding areas connected with the layout of the golf course . Built by the hgasso

    As a joint venture. We would like to meet you at the local office of the asi to explain our point of view to you.
    Meanwhile we submit that our position on this issue as explained in our letters dtd. 29.4.2009 and 2.5.2009 to Dr.B.R.Mani, Joint Director General (M),ASI, remains unchanged. We submit a copy of the representations for your ready reference. Further after the last hearing of the case on 17th March, 2009 the Hon’ble High Court has stayed all further work at Nayaqila area in the fort area. The Hon’ble High Court has also asked for affidavit from the Hyd. Dist., Collector and has made the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board as additional respondents to resuit.

    In addition to confirming our position on the subject for cancellation of the golf course project in the nayaquila area in the fort area and other matters as stated in our aforesaid letters. We submit that Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board have further started constructing two tunnels through the fort stroke moat wall, which are not consented to by the ASI. These are indicated in the enclosed map, vide items …….We are opposed to construction of these tunnels also and these must be prohibited and prevented by the ASI

    We shall appreciate if you grant some time to a delegation from us, to explain the matter further to you, if necessary.

    Cc to The Superintendent of Archeological Survey of India, Hyderabad Circle, Hyd.
    TOP
    MONTY’S HOTEL
    Monty’s Hotel, Park Lane New 98
    A Heritage Building vide Sl.No. 65, Code No. 2.67,Grade II B
    in HUDA notified buildings list
    Architectural style : European
    Typology : Individual buildings
    The Monty’s Hotel, otherwise known as Montgomery Hotel was opened in the park lane of Secunderabad during 1880-1890 A.D. for entertaining the British Officers residing at Secunderabad. The Hotel was known for its bar too. It is situated on an important street corner and has gothic traceried windows, steep pitched roofs with wooden bracings and an imposing European façade.It is a local landmark and listed for its architectural value.

    Forum came to know through news paper about the de-notification of Monty’s hotel from HUDA Heritage Buildings List, immediately Forum has filed a PIL against it, and Subsequently the High court has given stay on demolition of Monty’s hotel.
    Date: 12.6.2009
    To
    Dr.K.S.Jawahar Reddy,IAS.,
    The Commissioner,
    Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority,
    Hyderabad.
    Sub: Club house building of Hyderabad Golf Club Within protected area of the Golconda Fort Monument
    Sir,
    We came across the following item appearing in the Minutes of the Heritage Conservation Committee’s ( HCC )98th meeting dated 21.1.09:

    HCC 98th Minutes
    “Item no 22
    Lr. No. 01342/CSC/TP7/CZ/2008/205 dted 27.1.09 received from Chief City planner GHMC regarding the Proposal for construction of Club house with Cellar, Ground+ 2 Upper floors to the existing Golf club house in TS no 1 Qila Mohammed nagar, Hyderabad

    Proposed for inspection by members.”
    We do not know the present position of the application for additional construction.
    Please, however, note that the matter lies outside the jurisdiction of the HCC, and lies in the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India , New Delhi , as the club house lies within the protected area of the Monument ( please see appendix below). Please, therefore, immediately stop / cancel if already given, permission to GHMC / or any other authority to construct additions to the Club house.
    Please further note that the existing club house building, for the same reasons, is illegal, We are taking up the matter re the existing club house building appropriately with the concerned authorities under section 19 of Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958

    The protected areas of the Golconda Fort

    The Archaeological Survey of India , New Delhi (ASI) under whose protection the Golconda Fort lies under the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1951, clarified, by a notification No 3/1/85 dated 5th August 1985, Golconda Fort as comprising Citadel, outer fortification walls, gateways and other ancient structures including Naya Qila and Qutub Shahi Mahal fortification walls. By notification dated 29.1.1986, “All the private land within the Fort” was declared as a prohibited area for the purpose of constructions. By Gazette notification dated 16.6.1992, the areas up to 100 metres and further beyond it up to 200 metres near or adjoining protected monuments were declared as prohibited and regulated areas respectively for purposes of both construction and mining operations.

    Date: 12.6.2009
    To
    Sri.S.P.Singh, IAS.,
    The Commissioner and Special Officer,
    Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
    Tank Bund Road
    Hyderabad.
    Sub: Club house building of Hyderabad Golf Club Within protected area of the Golconda Fort Monument
    Sir,
    We came across the following item appearing in the Minutes of the Heritage Conservation Committee’s ( HCC )98th meeting dated 21.1.09
    :HCC 98th Minutes
    “Item no 22 Lr. No. 01342/CSC/TP7/CZ/2008/205 dtd 27.1.09 received from Chief City planner GHMC regarding the Proposal for construction of Club house with Cellar, Ground+ 2 Upper floors to the existing Golf club house in TS no 1 Qila Mohammed nagar, Hyderabad Proposed for inspection by members.”We do not know the present position of the application for additional construction. Please, however, note that the matter lies outside the jurisdiction of the HCC, and lies in the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India , New Delhi , as the club house lies within the protected area of the Monument ( please see appendix below). Please, therefore, immediately stop / cancel if already given, permission by GHMC / or any other authority to construct additions to the Club house.

    Please further note that the existing club house building, for the same reasons, is illegal, We are taking up the matter re the existing club house building appropriately with the concerned authorities under section 19 of Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. Meanwhile, please furnish us with a copy of your sanction if any for the construction of the Club House Building ( without the intended additions).

    Copy to The Special Commissioner, GHMC, Hyderabad.
    Appendix:
    The protected areas of the Golconda Fort
    The Archaeological Survey of India , New Delhi (ASI) under whose protection the Golconda Fort lies under the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1951, clarified, by a notification No 3/1/85 dated 5th August 1985, Golconda Fort as comprising Citadel, outer fortification walls, gateways and other ancient structures including Naya Qila and Qutub Shahi Mahal fortification walls. By notification dated 29.1.1986, “All the private land within the Fort” was declared as a prohibited area for the purpose of constructions. By Gazette notification dated 16.6.1992, the areas up to 100 metres and further beyond it up to 200 metres near or adjoining protected monuments were declared as prohibited and regulated areas respectively for purposes of both construction and mining operations
     
    Date: 12.6.2009
    To
    The Chief Information Officer,
    Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
    Tank bund Road
    Hyderabad,
    Dear Sir, Sub: Golconda Fort Monument Club house building of Hyderabad Golf Club
    We request the following information under the A.P. Right to Information Act, 2005
    1. Please let us know under what authority GHMC sought approval for a proposal for construction of Club house with Cellar, Ground+ 2 Upper floors to the existing Golf club house in TS no 1 Qila Mohammed nagar, Hyderabad, vide your Chief City Planner's Lr. No. 01342/CSC/TP7/CZ/2008/205 dtd 27.1.09 which was placed before HCC 98 th Minutes dated 21.1.09 under “Item no 22 , when the matter lay outside the jurisdiction of the HCC, and lay in the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India , New Delhi , the club house being located within the protected area of the Monument ( please see appendix below).

    2, Please also let us know whether the permission for the existing club house was also given by you. If it be so, please furnish us with a copy of your sanction for the construction of the Club House Building (without the intended additions), quoting the authority under which it was given without approval of ASI.
    Appendix:
    The protected areas of the Golconda Fort
    The Archaeological Survey of India , New Delhi (ASI) under whose protection the Golconda Fort lies under the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1951, clarified, by a notification No 3/1/85 dated 5th August 1985, Golconda Fort as comprising Citadel, outer fortification walls, gateways and other ancient structures including Naya Qila and Qutub Shahi Mahal fortification walls. By notification dated 29.1.1986, “All the private land within the Fort” was declared as a prohibited area for the purpose of constructions. By Gazette notification dated 16.6.1992, the areas up to 100 metres and further beyond it up to 200 metres near or adjoining protected monuments were declared as prohibited and regulated areas respectively for purposes of both construction and mining operations.
     
    Dt: 11.6.2009
    To
    The Director General,
    Archaeological Survey of India,
    Office of the Director General
    Janpath,
    New Delhi - 110011
    Sub: Golconda Fort Monument Club house building of Hyderabad Golf Club
    We came across the following item appearing in the Minutes of the Heritage Conservation Committee’s ( HCC ) 98th meeting dated 21.1.09:

    HCC 98th Minutes “Item no 22
    Lr. No. 01342/CSC/TP7/CZ/2008/205 dated 27.1.09 received from Chief City planer GHMC regarding the Proposal for construction of Club house with Cellar, Ground+ 2 Upper floors to the existing Golf club house in TS no 1 Qila Mohammed nagar, Hyderabad
    Proposed for inspection by members.”
    We do not know the present position of the application for additional construction.
    As the matter lies outside the jurisdiction of the HCC, and lies in the jurisdiction of ASI, the club house being within the protected area of the Monument ( vide, Section 19 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958), please immediately take up the matter to stop / cancel if already given, permission by GHMC / or any other authority to construct additions to the Club house. The latter itself violates article 19. Please also stop further construction if already started.

    Copy forwarded for information and immediate action to Ms. Maheaswari, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Hyderabad Circle.
     
    Date: 26.5.2009
    To
    The Commissioner & Special Officer,
    Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
    Tankbund Road
    Hyderabad
    Dear Sir, Sub: Illegal activity by GHMC in digging the Moat and breaching Moat wall of Golconda Fort Monument.
    It has come to our notice that allegedly on instructions of GHMC, agencies are digging the Kandak ( Moat ) and Safil ( wall) adjacent to Shah Hatam Talab, The Golconda Fort is protected by ASI Hyderabad under the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1951 and the protected areas of the Fort include the Kondak ( Moat) and the Kondak wall . No tampering thereof is permissible No Approval from the ASI was obtained, not even were they informed. On the contrary, ASI, Hyderabad circle has lodged a complaint with the Circle Inspector of Police, Golconda Police Station after intervention of the concerned DCP. The work has, however, not been stopped.

    We add that in PIL no 24623 filed with A.P. High Court by the Peoples Union For Civic Action & Rights ( PUCAAR) and the Forum For A Better Hyderabad, the Hon’ble High Court observed in their order dated 2.12.08, in respect of a breach in the Khandak wall near Jamalikunta area: ““The Golconda Fort and Nayaqila are the monuments and therefore, ASI has got bounden duty to protect and maintain the same. Under the circumstances, … the ASI, New Delhi and ASI, Hyderabad Circle shall take immediate steps to reconstruct the compound wall and other damaged structures in Golconda Fort and Nayaqila and restore the same within a period of two months from today….” Therefore, the work of breaching the Khandak wall and digging the Khandak allegedly now undertaken by GHMC are not merely illegal but also violative of Court order.

    We, therefore, request you to immediately stop all work in the area that affects the Moat or Moat wall or in the protected areas of the Monument, as the work is illegal and violative of an existing court order.

     
    Date: 26.5.2009
    To
    The Commissioner of Police
    Basheer Bagh
    Hyderabad
    Dear Sir, Sub: Illegal activity by GHMC in digging the Moat and breaching Moat wall of Golconda Fort Monument.
    It has come to our notice that allegedly on instructions of GHMC, agencies are digging the Kandak ( Moat ) and Safil ( wall) adjacent to Shah Hatam Talab, The Golconda Fort is protected by ASI Hyderabad under the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1951 and the protected areas of the Fort include the Kondak ( Moat) and the Kondak wall . No tampering thereof is permissible No Approval from the ASI was obtained, not even were they informed. On the contrary, ASI, Hyderabad circle has lodged a complaint with the Circle Inspector of Police, Golconda Police Station after intervention of the concerned DCP. The work has, however, not been stopped.

    We add that in PIL no 24623 filed with A.P. High Court by the Peoples Union For Civic Action & Rights ( PUCAAR) and the Forum For A Better Hyderabad, the Hon’ble High Court observed in their order dated 2.12.08, in respect of a breach in the Khandak wall near Jamalikunta area: ““The Golconda Fort and Nayaqila are the monuments and therefore, ASI has got bounden duty to protect and maintain the same. Under the circumstances, … the ASI, New Delhi and ASI, Hyderabad Circle shall take immediate steps to reconstruct the compound wall and other damaged structures in Golconda Fort and Nayaqila and restore the same within a period of two months from today….” Therefore, the work of breaching the Khandak wall and digging the Khandak allegedly now undertaken by GHMC are not merely illegal but also violative of Court order.

    We, therefore, request you to immediately stop all work in the area that affects the Moat or Moat wall or in the protected areas of the Monument, as the work is illegal and violative of an existing court order

     
    Date: 29.4.2009
    To
    Dr. B. R. Mani
    Joint Director General (M)
    (World Heritage, Monuments, Publication, Excavation/ Exploration, Conservation) Archaeological Survey of India,
    Office of the Director General, Janpath
    New Delhi. - 110011

    Dear Dr. B. R. Mani,

    Sub: Your visit to site of Golconda Fort and its protected areas - arising out of complaints by civil society groups regarding Violations in construction of a golf course.
    We thank you for your visit on 28.4. 09 and giving us an opportunity to explain to you the various serious violations committed and being committed by the Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA), and the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Ltd ( APTDCL), to the detriment of the protection of the Golconda Fort Monument and its protected areas as defined in your various Notifications. You yourself observed the violations made, together with your team. We are sure that you have come to the conclusion that this state of affairs cannot be allowed to be continued. Not merely were the violations committed over period of time, but utter disregard was shown to the instructions of the ASI, Hyderabad circle office, even the orders of the Hon’ble Andhra Pradesh High Court given in PIL no 24623 of 2008. There was complete failure of oversight by the APTDCL and lack of co-operation from the police and the district authorities in protecting the Monument.

    We had earlier advised the Director General, ASI of the various violations committed while laying the golf course. During your visit a short note was further submitted to you by our Dr. M.Mandal. Even at the cost of repetition, we forward by way of attachment , a further note on the subject, for your quick reference.

    In the aforesaid circumstances, we reiterated to you during your visit our demands, which were already conveyed to the Director General, ASI in our earlier letters. For ready reference these are as follows:
    • No golf course in the Naya qila area of the Golconda Fort and the protected areas of the Golconda fort Monument should be allowed.
    • Damages to structures, changes in contours, breakage of moat or Fort wall, and all other damages must be restored. All further changes made by the HGA or APTDCL must be reversed.
    • Free access restored to the citizens especially the tourists and the local people to all the areas of ancient heritage structure.
    Immediate cancellation of the in- principle, conditional consent given in ASI letter no F.No. 26/16/98-M dated 29.11.2001, which has not yet been finalized and vetted by Union Ministry of Law.

    In this connexion, you are already aware that our petition to the Hon’ble High Court in PIL no 24623 of 2008 prayed that the High Court may please issue a writ , order or direction … declaring the action of the respondents Nos 1 to 6 ( namely, ASI, New Delhi, ASI, Hyderabad Circle, Secretary to Youth Advancement, Tourism & Cultural Department, Government of A. P., AP TDC, Collector & District Magistrate, Hyderabad, Commissioner of Police ( CP ), Hyderabad, and H.G.A. in allotting the land in and around Golconda Fort in favour of HGA and not stopping the work the developmental activities including leveling of land etc., taken up by HGA in and around Golconda Fort especially the Naya Qila and the moat at Jamali Kunta as illegal and unconstitutional and consequently direct the respondents to restore the area to the pristine glory and restore the access to the citizens especially the tourists and the local people to all the areas of ancient heritage structure after directing the respondents to take back the land given to HGA.

    Thanking you in anticipation.


    Copy to : 1. The Director General, ASI, New Delhi.
    2. The Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Hyderabad

    Attachments.
    1. Some instances of violations :
    (a) Without approval of the draft MOU and before even submitting it, the HGA under a DEED of license given to them by APTDCL , freely went about engaging in various works relating to the construction of the golf course, including structures. It may be noted that the letter dated 29.11.01 by ASI, New Delhi gave only an in principle, subject to compliance of eight conditions, consent to lay the golf course within 50 acres inside the Naya Qila area inside the Fort. This was further subject to vetting by the Union Ministry of Law. This letter was not a permission at all.
    (b) HGA cut a portion of the Kondak wall between Jamalikunta and Nayaqila to connect two parts of the golf course. A report dated 13.11.08 recorded at ASI, Hyderabad stated that that HGA were making an under-passage from the existing golf course to Nayaqila near the exit way and had cut a portion of the Kandak wall over which the road was laid for creating the under-passage for players to enter the nayaqila without crossing the road. In the affidavit dated 24.11.08 by the ASI, Hyderabad circle to the High Court, it was stated that the moat wall which is heritage property was removed by JCB and trying to dismantle the natural rock by means of compressor over which the structure was laid , which may cause danger to the structure.

    (c) the above matter was informed to the High court by ASI, Hyderabad in affidavit dated 24.11.08. APTDC and HGA claimed that Water Works Department had taken up the activity for laying pipes but the Department denied that it had taken any such work or authorized anyone to take up the works. Only after the Court order was passed on 2.12.09 to restore the moat wall and refill the moats, and your Hyderabad circle arranged to comply with the court order, the HMWS&SB took a new plea for allowing drainage pipe through the broken portion of the moat wall, which was obviously an afterthought to defeat the court order to rebuild the moat wall. Your ASI. Hyderabad circle considered the request untenable; yet it was not finally and firmly declined. Please note that the Court order dated 26.12.08 directed the respondent ( APTDC ) to ensure that such work was / is done “strictly in accordance with the conditions imposed by the 1st respondent ( ASI, New Delhi) in letter F No 26/16/98-M dated 29.11.01 , in consultation with the ASI. New Delhi”. Therefore, ASI has no discretion to go beyond the conditions of the MOU, and breaking of the moat wall or filling up part of moat is not permissible as per the MOU or the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. 1958.
    (d) The Surang, an entry originally provided in the Monument , to Naya Qila area inside the Fort. was dug by 2 feet, to increase its height from 6 feet to 8 feet, for easy passage to golfers. To restrict entry of others, a gate was put at the Surang, which earlier was not there.
    (e) In Naya Qila area within the Fort wall, HGA was carrying the work of digging and leveling the earth, without any permission by ASI, Hyderabad, and notwithstanding having been requested not to initiate any activity within 100 metres from the protected area of ASI Monuments ( ASI affidavit dated 24.11.08 filed with the High Court). During inspection, the officers ( of ASI Hyderabad ) observed that the moat falling between Banjara Darwaja and Jamali Darwaja of Golconda fort within the fenced area of the HGA was partly filled with garbage and red soil, and the same was leveled by the HGA. ASI again wrote on 5.9.08 to stop such unauthorized activity of filling the moat and to remove the earth already filled as the action of HGA was against the principle of Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites & Remains Act 1958, and Rules 1959. ASI , Hyderabad filed an FIR against the HGA on 8.9.08.
    (f) While using heavy machinery to dip soil, century old coins were found and this was informed to the Collector, MRO and the concerned officials. Finally, the coins were sent to ASI, Hyderabad. It is not known how many number of coins found were truly reported. Due to digging of the earth, artifacts were , which are unaccounted for. Even now they are found on the ground. All these show scant regard for the hidden heritages in the Naya qila area . As per guidelines, an area where such items have been found should be sealed, but this has not been done at this fort. The provisions of the A.P. Treasure Trove rules framed under the Indian Treasure Trove Act have been violated.
    (g) Fencing of the golf course has interfered with the public access to Mullah Khayali mosque, the Hathian ki jhar, the graveyards within the Naya qila area. Earlier, tourists and visitors, after
    visiting the Hathian ki jhar and Mustafa Khan mosque used to frequent the watch tower and the Tope ( cannon); now they cannot reach these sites due to the fencing. Mustafa khan mosque is another important site in Nayaqila area. Rocks have been blasted / broken on the road to the mosque, Signboards have been put at many places, “ trespassers will be prosecuted”. “ Golf course project / APTDC”. These give the message that this area is off the limits of a tourist / visitor, and is only for HGA members. Thus condition number 2 of the draft MOU has been violated. (g) Contours have been changed in the name of greening and grassing, by breaking rocks, by digging, leveling, and dumping soil bought from outside. Heavy excavating machines, use of which is prohibited inside the Fort area have been used / are still seen on site. These will disturb the archeological site. Sand pits, which require digging at considerable depth, have been created in the golf course inside the Nayaqila area of the Fort. (h) Condition no 5 of the draft MOU states that there is evidence of a Qutub Shahi garden comprising about 10 acres in Naya qila area( out of 50 acres) and that this portion will be developed as per the original layout. Since the Garden’s location is not yet identified . it is apprehended that HGA may level this area too for extending the golf course. (i) Besides, some of items of agreement(s) were contrary to the conservation of the monument and its precinct areas. We quote by way of example from the Minutes of the Meeting dated 14.9.08:
    “ ASI to fence the moat area as per land survey records”
    “ Area on the HGA ( Hyderabad Golf Association) side of the fence to be
    developed without creating permanent structures”
    “ Maximum trees to be preserved in the area” – Question – why maximum
    instead of stating that all trees to be preserved in the area and no trees to
    be removed without prior written approval of ASI, Hyderabad circle and
    other concerned authorities under WALTA of the state government. Also, no census of trees was undertaken. Thus some trees were removed illegally.
    (i) The Hyderabad Golf Association has constructed a huge building as Club House probably falling within the prohibited area ( see enclosed map) from the rampart wall of the Golconda fort, a small permanent building for security personnel, and falling within the prohibited area adjacent to the moat and a wall along the road separating the Jamalikunta area of the golf course. They have constructed a fence around the golf course within the Naya Qila area and also made some changes on the ground level. Article 19 (1) of the Act says: (1) No person, including the owner or occupier of a protected area, shall construct any building within the protected area or carry on any mining, quarrying, excavating, blasting or any operation of a like nature in such area, or utilise such area or any part thereof in any other manner without the permission of the Central Government. Surely, this provision has been violated. Article 19(2) provides for removal of such building under an order of the Central government. HGA constructed a huge club house within the restricted area of the fort wall, where no construction activity is permissible, and they built a wall on the road side parallel to the Kondak wall.
    (j) Repeated violations of the Court orders.
    A PIL no 24623 was filed with A.P. High Court by the Peoples Union For Civic Action & Rights ( PUCAAR) and the Forum For A Better Hyderabad, praying that the High Court may please declare the action of the respondents Nos 1 to 6 ( namely, ASI, New Delhi; ASI, Hyderabad Circle; Secretary to Youth Advancement, Tourism & Cultural Department, Government of A. P.; APTDC; Collector & District Magistrate, Hyderabad; Commissioner of Police ( CP ), Hyderabad;, and H.G.A) in allotting the land in and around Golconda Fort in favour of HGA and not stopping the work of developmental activities including leveling of land etc., taken up by HGA in and around Golconda Fort especially the Naya Qila and the moat at Jamali Kunta, as illegal and unconstitutional and consequently direct the respondents to restore the area to the pristine glory and restore the access to the citizens especially the tourists and the local people to all the areas of ancient heritage structure after directing the respondents to take back the land given to HGA.
    The High Court observed in their order dated 2.12.08: “ The affidavits filed in this writ petition go to show that the compound wall of the Golconda Fort has been damaged at certain places. …. it does not appear that any activity from the respondent authorities to rebuild the compound wall, is taken up” and instructed HGA to stop further work until the appeal is disposed of. “The Golconda Fort and Nayaqila are the monuments and therefore, ASI has got bounden duty to protect and maintain the same. Under the circumstances, … the ASI, New Delhi and ASI, Hyderabad Circle shall take immediate steps to reconstruct the compound wall and other damaged structures in Golconda Fort and Nayaqila and restore the same within a period of two months from today….”
    As HGA did not stop the work, nor were the reconstruction / restoration of the damaged compound walls of the GK Fort and the other damaged structures in GK Fort and Nayaqila done, the High Court was approached again, Based on an undertaking by the Managing Director, APTDC, that APTDC through the agencies having required expertise will carry out the works in disputed areas strictly in accordance with the conditions imposed by ASI, New Delhi in letter F.No.26/16/98-M dated 29.11.01; that they will not make or allow any permanent constructions by the licencee ( i.e. HGA ) in the protected area and will safeguard the areas in question; that the entire work will be under the supervision of the APTDC and the Government, the High Court directed, vide order dated 26.12.08, the respondent ( APTDC ) to ensure that such work was / is done “ strictly in accordance with the conditions imposed by the 1st respondent ( ASI, New Delhi) in letter F No 26/16/98-M dated 29.11.01 , in consultation with the ASI. New Delhi”.
    Works of various types were continued, violating the conditions of the draft MOU, ASI Hyderabad informed that they have not given any consent for such works. The High Court was approached again and by their order dated 17.3.09, directed the respondents not to take up construction or change the contours and adjourned the hearing till 23.3.09 to enable the respondents to file counter affidavits. The case is to be heard further.
    (k) Complet failure of oversight by the state authorities. Some important issues
    - A policy issue is whether the development inside, and affecting the protected and regulated areas of a monument, should be given to a private party, how such a party should be chosen, and what should be an effective mechanism to enforce the prescribed safeguards for its proper protection and strict compliance with the prescribed obligations. In the instant case, we find to our regret that immediately on receipt of the ASI, New Delhi’s in principle, conditional, consent, the APTDCL, for reasons unknown, interpreted it as permission and, without completion of the prescribed requirements, handed over the area to the HGA, a purely private organisation, without any competitive bidding, asking them to start the work of laying the golf course , etc. And there were repeated violations by the HGA of the conditions of the draft MOU, disregard of the Court orders, misrepresentation of facts. Obviously. HGA is untrustworthy.
    - Surprisingly, the APTDCL which gave an undertaking to the Court that the entire work will be under the supervision of the APTDC and the Government, on the basis of which, the High Court directed, vide order dated 26.12.08, the respondent ( APTDC ) to ensure that such work was / is done “ strictly in accordance with the conditions imposed by the 1st respondent ( ASI, New Delhi) in letter F No 26/16/98-M dated 29.11.01 , in consultation with the ASI. New Delhi”, virtually reneged their undertaking by their letter dated 6.4.09 to Shri Mohd Afzal ( copy enclosed) under RTA, and transferred the responsibility to HGA / the Secretary, department of YAT & C, Government of A.P. Secretarist Hyderabad . A copy of the letter is enclosed.
    - Simultaneously, there was failure of all the authorities to enforce compliance by the HGA. The police registered complaints only under repeated pressure, did not register FIRs except in a few cases, and took no action, The local citizens including members of the petitioner organizations made repeated complaints to the local police station, copy to the C.P., the Hyderabad District Collector, to stop the works but no action was taken.. It is also observed from the minutes of the meetings that the District Collector, and the Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, sometimes reached agreements with the HGA when they had no authority.

    An earlier Judgment of the A.P. High Court.

    It may be noted that on an earlier occasion, after the Hyderabad flood of 2000, the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH ) had cut a part of the fort wall, which was in a dilapidated condition, to provide Storm Water Drain in the interest and safety of the people living in and around the Fort, a purportedly public purpose. Nevertheless, the Hon’ble High Court, in the W.P. no 7631 of 2002 , gave a direction to the then MCH, that the wall must be restored as it was with the old glory and it was restored under the supervision of ASI officials. It will be a national shame if, for the private use of a handful few, the Golconda Fort, a national monument of immense historical and architectural importance, is allowed to be denuded of its environs, defaced and damaged.

    Attachment 2.
    Golconda Fort map showing Club house building (vide item I earlier)

    Attachment 3.
    Rules governing the Golconda Fort
    The Fort comprises Citadel, outer fortification walls, gateways and other ancient structures including Naya Qila and Qutub Shahi Mahal fortification walls., “All the private land within the Fort” is a prohibited area for the purpose of constructions. The areas up to 100 metres and further beyond it up to 200 metres near or adjoining protected monuments are prohibited and regulated areas respectively for purposes of both construction and mining operations.
    By a letter dated 29.11.2001, the Director General, ASI. New Delhi informed the Secretary, Youth Advancement, Tourism & Culture, A.P. State government that the proposal to set up Golf Course within the walls of Naya Qila encompassing an area of roughly 50 acres has been agreed to in principle subject to observance of eight conditions by the State Government. Some of these conditions were ( the number of a condition is mentioned in brackets) : (2) The existing access of the public to the monument including the presently unused mosques, viz., Mullah Khayali and Mustafa Khan, will continue as before: (4) the golf course will develop along the existing contours of the land. (5) There is evidence of a Qutub Shahi garden to the right of the present entry point. This portion of land comprising about 10 acres will be developed as per the original layout, records of which are available with the Hyderabad Circle ( of ASI ). (8) The complete layout of the golf course both within the Fort walls and outside should be submitted to the ASI for its approval. The State Government was requested to submit to the ASI by 31.12.01 the draft MOU based on the aforesaid observations so that the finer details can be worked out at the earliest and it could be vetted by the Ministry of Law.

     
    Date: 27.4.2009

    To
    Sri K.N.Shrivastava,
    Director General,, Office of the Director General
    Archaeological Survey of India
    Janpath, New Delhi - 110011

    Dear Sir, Sub: Unauthorised constructions of Hyderabad Golf Association within the protected areas of the Golconda Fort Monument

    We observe that the Hyderabad golf Association ( HGA ) , licensee of Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Ltd ( APTDCL ), has constructed a single storied building as Club House probably falling within the prohibited area ( hardly 80 mts) from the rampart wall of the Golconda fort , a small permanent building for security personnel, adjacent to the moat, falling within the prohibited area and a wall along the road separating the Jamalikunta area of the golf course . All these are under the protected areas of the Fort , where no construction, mining or excavation is permissible. Article 19 (1) of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. 1958 says: (1) No person, including the owner or occupier of a protected area, shall construct any building within the protected area or carry on any mining, quarrying, excavating, blasting or any operation of a like nature in such area, or utilise such area or any part thereof in any other manner without the permission of the Central Government. Surely, this provision has been violated.

    Accordingly, we request you to invoke Article 19(2) which reads : “ The Central Government may, by order, direct that any building constructed by any person within a protected area in contravention of the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be removed within a specified period and. if the person refuses or fails to comply with the order the Collector may cause the building to be removed and the person shall be liable to pay the cost of such removal”.

    Meanwhile, please acknowledge receipt of this letter.

     

    Thanking you in anticipation.
    M.VEDAKUMAR
    Copy to : The Superintending Archaeologist , ASI, Hyderabad
     
    Date: 22.4.2009
    To
    The Chief Information Officer,
    Dear Sir, Information on extent of water body in Jamalikunta area adjoining the Golconda Fort Wall

    We request you to supply us the following information, under the A.P. Right to Information Act, 2005.

    •  The area of the water body(ies) in Jamalikunta area adjoining the Golconda Fort wall.

    •  The particulars of the aforesaid water body(ies), such as mouza no, holding no, survey no, etc, together with the maps, and photos if available.

    •  Whether there has been any encroachment on the area(s) of the water body(ies), and if so, please indicate the encroachments,

    •  Whether any approval was asked for from you or given by you, to any person(s) to fill up parts of area(s) of the water body(ies)

    •  Whether you have taken, or contemplating to take, any action against such encroachment(s), to restore the original area of the water body(ies) We shall be grateful if will kindly furnish us with the information, urgently.
    Thanking you in anticipation.

    Yours faithfully,

     
    Date: 15.4.2009
    To
    His Excellency: Shri Narayan Datt Tiwari
    Hon'ble Governor of Andhra Pradesh
    Somajiguda
    HYDERABAD

    Your Excellency,

    Sub:Threat to Golconda Fort, and its protected areas from construction of a golf course and connected developmental activities in and around   Golconda fort especially the Naya Qila area.

    We wish to bring to your notice the serious threat posed by the setting up of a golf course within the Naya Qila area of the Golconda Fort and its adjoining protected areas as defined by the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1951 and other Notifications, governing the fort. The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Ltd ( APTDCL ) entrusted under a Deed of Licence dated 6.2.02 to one Hyderabad Golf Association ( HGA ), a purely private organisation, the development of a golf course and its requisite construction activities, within the above areas.

    The work was commenced , even though a draft MOU sent by ASI, New Delhi with their letter dated 29.11.01 has not yet been finalised and signed by ASI and the State Government, and the prior vetting of such an agreed MOU of the two parties obtained from the Union Law ministry , as required.

    Apart from this violation, the HGA has made numerous violations of a serious nature of the conditions laid down in the Draft MOU, and the provisions of the aforesaid Monuments Act and the Notifications. Such violations have been made repeatedly, without obtaining any permission from ASI, Hyderabad circle and despite their opposition, and false statements have been made even to the A.P. High Court with whom some civil society organisations have filed a PIL.

    The APTDCL and the local administration have acted indifferently to public complaints and even on complaints made by ASI, Hyderabad circle against such violations, no proper support was extended to them for protecting the Monument

    In the three orders passed by the Hon'ble A.P. High Court so far, they took serious note of the violations, ordered the rectification of damages, changes made, restoration etc and stoppage of further works. In the last order dated 17.3.09. the High Court directed the respondents (which include District Collector, APTDC, HGA, and ASI) not to take up construction or change the contours till further hearing which has not so far been held.

    Although the High Court has intervened, the HGA and the concerned authorities have not shown enough solicitude to comply with the High Court orders in letter and spirit, We apprehend that unless checked, they will cause irretrievable damage to the Monument and its protected areas. These are of immense historical value (reflecting a style of warfare and defense) and architectural values of excellence, and showing a blend among different cultures and styles of different periods of history. World Heritage status is also being sought for thr Monument. We, therefore, seek your intervention for the full protection of the Monument and its protected areas. Under no circumstance, should a golf course which is purely for private use for members of the HGA, be allowed to affect in the least the Monument and its protected areas.

    We enclose a brief Note giving the facts of the case.

    Our prayer.

    Because of the geology and topography of Nayaquilla area of the Fort, the construction of a golf course therein will necessarily lead to violation of Acts and Notifications preserving the Golconda fort and its protected areas. The fulfilment of the conditions laid down by ASI in the letter of 29.11.2001 is just not possible if a Golf course is to be constructed. We desire, therefore, that no golf course in the Naya qila area of the Golconda Fort should be allowed; that the State Government cancel its project of setting up a golf course within the Naya Qila area and the protected areas of the Fort; that the ASI restore the damages to structures, changes in contours, breakage of moat or Fort wall, and all other damages and that the free access be restored to the citizens especially the tourists and the local people, to all the areas of ancient heritage structure

    Yours Sincerely,

     
    Date: 8.4.2009

    To
    The Chief Information Officer,
    Archaeological survey of India,
    Kendriya Sadan, 3 rd Floor, 2 nd Block,
    Sultan Bazar,  Koti,
    Hyderabad circle.
    HYDERABAD

    Dear Sir, Sub : Restoration work in Golconda Fort

    We observe that the following order dated 2.12.08 of the Hon'ble A.P. High Court has not been carried out as on date:

    ““ Under the circumstances, … the ASI, New Delhi and ASI, Hyderabad Circle shall take immediate steps to reconstruct the compound wall and other damaged structures in Golconda Fort and Nayaqila and restore the same within a period of two months from today….”

    We , therefore, seek the following information under the A.P. Right to Information Act, 2005.

    •  What steps have been taken by you to comply with the above Court order, in particular, to restore the Moat wall, which was broken to create a passage to the nayaqila area inside the Fort wall?

    •  Were there any hindrances to your completing the above task; if so, what steps did you take to remove those hindrances? What was the outcome of your efforts to do so?

    •  What steps do you propose to take to close the tunnel in the moat wall and restore it to its original condition?

    We shall be grateful if you please give us the above information without delay.

    Yours faithfully,

    O.M.DEBARA
    Convenor, Right to Information Act
    Forum for a Better Hyderabad
     
    Date: 26.3.2009

    To
    Sri K.N.Shrivastava,
    Director General, Office of the Director General
    Archaeological Survey of India
    Janpath, New Delhi - 110011

    Dear Sir,
    Sub: Setting up of the Golf course within the walls of the Naya Qila in Hyderabad.

    Kindly refer our letter dt. 23.03.2009, and our recommendations made in the penultimate paragraph. We wish to impress that because of the geology and topography of Nayaquilla area of the Fort, it is just not possible to construct a Golf course therein. The construction will necessarily lead to violation of Acts and Notifications preserving the Golconda fort and its protected areas. Moreover the fulfillment of the conditions laid down by you in your letter of 29.11.2001 is just not possible if a Golf course is to be constructed. This is our considered opinion.

    We therefore reiterate our recommendation that you should immediately cancel the in-principle, conditional consent given by you earlier in 2001. The land must be restored to the State Government as it was before the start of the Golf Course and damages to structures, changes in contours, breakage of moat or Fort wall, and all other damages must be restored and free access restored to the tourists and local people to all the areas of ancient heritage structure.

    If you have any doubt on our recommendation, we suggest that a committee of experts be appointed to examine the feasibility of laying the Golf course within the Nayaquilla area without violating the Laws and Regulations .

    Thanking you,
    Yours faithfully,
    O.M.DEBARA
    Gen. Secretary , Forum for A Better Hyderabad

    Copy to : The Superintending Archaeologist , ASI, Hyderabad
     
    NOTE ON GOLCONDA FORT AND GOLF CLUB-25.3.2009

    Golf course within the Fort Wall and the protected and regulated areas of Golconda Monument.
    Issues for introspection and action

    The Golconda monument , a national monument, which is further sought to be recognized as a World Heritage monument, is under invasion from a golf course. This development throws up several issues for consideration and urgent need for action.
    The requirements under the Ancient Monuments Act and various Notifications concerning Golconda Fort.
    Golconda Fort is under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India ( ASI ), New Delhi under the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1951. Golconda Fort comprises Citadel, outer fortification walls, gateways and other ancient structures including Naya Qila and Qutub Shahi Mahal fortification walls. , Subsequently. by a notification No 3/1/85 dated 5 th August 1985, ASI clarified Golconda Fort as comprising Citadel, outer fortification walls, gateways and other ancient structures including Naya Qila and Qutub Shahi Mahal fortification walls. By notification dated 29 .1.1986, “All the private land within the Fort” was declared as a prohibited area for the purpose of constructions. By Gazette notification dated 16.6.1992, the areas up to 100 metres and further beyond it up to 200 metres near or adjoining protected monuments were declared as prohibited and regulated areas respectively for purposes of both construction and mining operations

    The golf course project :
    On a request made by the Secretary, Youth Advancement, Tourism & Culture, A.P. State government, Director General, ASI . New Delhi informed by his letter no F. No. 26/16/98-M dated 29.11.2001 that the proposal to set up Golf Course within the walls of Naya Qila encompassing an area of roughly 50 acres has been agreed to in principle subject to observance of eight conditions by the State Government. These conditions were :

    •  The ownership of the land would continue to vest with the Government of Andhra Pradesh ( A.P ); (2) The existing access of the public to the monument including the presently unused mosques, viz., Mullah Khayali and Mustafa Khan, will continue as before: (3) The State Governmentor anyparty nominated by it for managing the golf course will not be allowed to levy any tickets for access to this complex; (4) the golf course will develop along the existing contours of the land; (5) There is evidence of a Qutub Shahi garden to the right of the present entry point. This portion of land comprising about 10 acres will be developed as per the original layout, records of which are available with the Hyderabad Circle ( of ASI ). (6) No structure will come up within 100 metres of the rampart wall both within and outside the 50 acres; (7) The state government may specify the amount they would be contributing for the conservation of the monuments within the Naya Qila complex, so that a project could be formulated to execute the work in a phased manner; (8) The complete layout of the golf course both within the Fort walls and outside should be submitted to the ASI for its approval. The State Government was requested to submit to the ASI by 31.12.01 the draft MOU based on the aforesaid observations so that the finer details can be worked out at the earliest and it could be vetted by the Ministry of Law.

    [Total land allotted for the purpose by the State Government to Andhra Pradesh Tourism Corporation Ltd ( APTDC ) , which in turn appointed Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA ) as the licensee for executing the work, is 212.17 acres out which 50 acres are in the Naya Qila area of the Fort. ]

    The aforesaid letter dated 29.11.01 of ASI gave only an in-principle, and conditional consent. The letter demanded submission of the draft MOU (including complete lay out of the golf course) for prior approval of ASI and vetting of the Union Law Ministry.

    On 6.2.02, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Ltd ( APTDC) . Licensor, entered into a DEED OF LICENCE with Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA ), the Licensee, a society, under which the former agreed to grant a license to

    the latter valid for fifty years from 6.2.02, renewable for further suitable period, at an annual licence fee of re 1/ during the lease. to form a Golf Course of International Standards and to make provisions for requisite buildings, etc. One of the terms of the DEED OF LICENCE was that the Licensee will scrupulously observe the undertakings given by the Government of Andhra Pradesh , in the design and construction of the Golf Course and other conditions as per Annexure there unto. A copy of the Deed of Licence is enclosed, which shows wide, unwarranted authority were given to HGA by APTDC, not justified under the Act or the conditions of the MOU.
    ( Encl: Deed of Licence)

    The HGA submitted a draft MOU, after a lapse of seven years, which ASI, Hyderabad forwarded to ASI, New Delhi vide their letter no 11/3/Hyd/GC/2008-M/2451 dated 27.9.2008 with their recommendations against item by item of the stipulated conditions. Strangely, a lay out of the Golf Course was not submitted as required under condition no 8, and the ASI, Hyderabad simply forwarded it with “no comments” against that item. The condition is a very important one and not complying with it cannot be explained as a mere oversight. The MOU cannot be approved without furnishing such an important information.

    The approval or otherwise of the draft MOU is still pending. However, even without approval of, or even submitting a draft MOU as required, the Hyderabad Golf Association merrily went about engaging in various works relating to the construction of the golf course. These works were done without obtaining any permission from ASI, and notwithstanding specific requests by ASI Hyderabad to refrain from such acts, as repeatedly stated by ASI, Hyderabad in its affidavits to the High Court. Further, the conditions of the draft MOU and the provisions of the 1951 Act were violated repeatedly, despite being pointed out by the ASI, Hyderabad.

    Present stage of the golf course
    The Golf course by HGA has two parts:

    One part in Jamalikunta area (outside the Fort wall, the Kondak wall), which is operational.

    The other part is in Naya Qila area inside the Fort, where 50 acres of land have been allotted , subject to prior fulfillment of some conditions. We found that golf course is already laid down in part of this area and golf is being played here.
    Connecting the two parts of the golf course. Underpassage.
    The two parts of the golf course have been connected by cutting a portion of the Kondak wall between the Jamalikunta and the Nayaqila area, and over the gap thus created, a slab has been put. The Kondak and the Kondak Wall are parts of the Golconda monument.

    Further, a report dated 13.11.08 recorded at ASI, Hyderabad, inter alia, stated that that HGA were making an under-passage from the existing golf course to nayaqila near the exit way and had cut a portion of the Kandak wall over which the road was laid for creating the under-passage for players to enter the nayaqila by avoiding the risk of crossing the road. It was further stated that the moat wall which is heritage property was removed by JCB (as per letter dated 10.6.08, of ASI, Hyderabad, in reply to a letter under RTA, the use of JCB is incorrect and HGA is responsible for its use ) and trying to dismantle the natural rock by means of compressor over which the structure was laid , which may cause danger to the structure. This matter was informed to the High court by the Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Hyderabad in his affidavit dated 24.11.08 to the High Court.
    See Photos. Such as 1,2,3,4 showing slab, underpasage, surang, surang with gate
     
    Thus the two parts of the golf course were connected. Golf is being played in Naya Qila area inside the Fort wall.
    (See Photos. Such as – 1, 2, 3, 4)
    APTDC and HGA claimed that the Hyderabad Collector had permitted them to do the work but refused to furnish any authorization from the Collector. HGA later said Water Works Department has taken up the activity for laying pipes but the  Water works Department informed that it had not taken any such work nor authorized anyone to take up the works at Jamalikunta area, and that their boards were stolen and placed there. Now these boards are not there.
    The Surang, which is an entry originally provided in the Monument , to Naya Qila area inside the Fort. was dug by 2 feet, to increase its height from 5 feet to 7 feet to enable the golfers players to walk through it. To restrict entry of others, a gate was put at the Surang, which earlier was not there
    In Naya Qila area within the Fort wall, HGA was carrying the work of digging and leveling the earth, despite no permission having been given by ASI, Hyderabad, and specifically having been requested not to initiate any activity within 100 metres from the protected area of ASI Monuments in Naya Qila area of the Golconda Fort till MOU is signed by all concerned parties. ( ASI affidavit dated 24.11.08 filed with the High Court). During inspection, the officers ( of ASI Hyderabad ) observed that the moat falling between Banjara Darwaja and Jamali Darwaja of Golconda fort within the fenced area of the HGAs was partly filled with garbage and red soil, and the same was leveled by the HGA. ASI again wrote on 5.9.08 to stop such unauthorized activity of filling the moat and remove the earth already filled as the above action of HGA was against the principle of Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites & Remains Act 1958, and Rules 1959, and more particularly without proper approval of the competent authority and at the stage when the MOU is not yet signed, Further, ASI , Hyderabad filed an FIR against the HGA on 8.9.08.

    •  While using heavy machinery to dip soil, century old coins were found and this was informed to the Collector, MRO and the concerned officials. Finally, the coins were sent to ASI, Hyderabad. It is not known how many number of coins found were truly reported. The provisions of the A.P. Treasure Trove rules framed under the Indian Treasure Trove Act  have been violated. Due to digging of the earth, artifacts were found ( (See Photos uch as – 0696) which are unaccounted for. Even now they are found on the ground. All these show scant regard for the hidden heritages in the Naya qila area .

    Fencing of the golf course has interfered with the public access to Mullah Khayali mosque, the Hathian ki jhar, the grave yards within the Naya qila area. Earlier, tourists and visitors , after visiting the Hathian ki jhar and Mustafa Khan mosque used to frequent the watch tower and the Tope ( cannon), but now they cannot reach these sites due to the fencing. ( See Photos. Such as – 7698, 0760, 0768, 0772). Thus condition number 2 of the draft MOU has been violated.. Mustafa khan mosque is another important site in Nayaqila area. Rocks have been blasted / broken on the road to the mosque, Further, signboards have been put at many places, namely, “ trespassers will be prosecuted”. “ Golf course project / APTDC”. These sign boards give the message that this area is off the limits of a tourist / visitor, and is for golfers only
    Contours have been changed in the name of greening and grassing, by digging, leveling, and dumping soil being bought from outside. Heavy excavating machines, the use of which is prohibited inside the Fort area have been used / are still seen on site. ( photos of heavy machines working, on site) Rocks have been broken. Leveling of land will disturb the archeological site. Sand pits, which require digging at considerable depth, have been created in the golf course inside the Nayaqila area

    •  Trees have been cut. The minutes of a meeting dated 14.9.08, which was attended by the district collector , recorded “maximum number of trees to be preserved in the area”. Why “maximum” instead of “all” and that no trees to be removed without prior written approval of ASI, Hyderabad circle and, other concerned authorities under WALTA of the state government ?

    •  Extension of the golf course to cover the remaining areas of 50 acres in Naya qila area, which includes the Deccani gardens.

    Now APTDC / HGA are trying to extend the golf course to the remaining 50 acres within the NQ area, which includes 10 acres of the Qutub Shahi gardens. Condition no 5 of the draft MOU states that there is evidence of a Qutub Shahi garden to the right of the present entry point and that this portion of land comprising about 10 acres will be developed as per the original layout, records of which are available with the Hyderabad Circle ( of ASI ). However, the Garden's location is not yet identified so far in Nayaquila. Till this is done, no further work should be allowed to extend the golf course. Unless checked, the APTDC/HGA may level, flatten this area too for extending the golf course.
    The Court case. Repeated violations. The present situation
    A PIL no 24623 was filed in by the Peoples Union For Civic Action & Rights ( PUCAAR) and the Forum For A Better Hyderabad The petition prayed that the High Court may please issue a writ , order or direction … declaring the action of the respondents Nos 1 to 6 ( namely, ASI, New Delhi, ASI, Hyderabad Circle, Secretary to Youth Advancement, Tourism & Cultural Department, Government of A. P., AP TDC, Collector & District Magistrate, Hyderabad, Commissioner of Police ( CP ), Hyderabad, and H.G.A. in allotting the land in and around Golconda Fort in favour of HGA and not stopping the work the developmental activities including leveling of land etc., taken up by HGA in and around Golconda Fort especially the Naya Qila and the moat at Jamali Kunta as illegal and unconstitutional and consequently direct the respondents to restore the area to the pristine glory and restore the access to the citizens especially the tourists and the local people to all the areas of ancient heritage structure after directing the respondents to take back the land given to HGA.

    After hearing the PIL, the A.P. High Court issued their order dated 2.12.08 as follows: “ The affidavits filed in this writ petition go to show that the compound wall of the Golconda Fort has been damaged at certain places. However, it does not appear that any activity from the respondent authorities to rebuild the compound wall , is taken up. ………………..instructed HGA to stop further work until the appeal is disposed of. “. ( ASI Hyderabad stated to the Court that they did not accord any permission to the Hyderabad Golf Association to dig earth within the prohibited area).

    “ The Golconda Fort and Nayaqila are the monuments and therefore, ASI has got bounden duty to protect and maintain the same.

    “ Under the circumstances, … the ASI, New Delhi and ASI, Hyderabad Circle shall take immediate steps to reconstruct the compound wall and other damaged structures in Golconda Fort and Nayaqila and restore the same within a period of two months from today….”

    However, work was going on. Reconstruction / restoration of the damaged compound walls of the GK Fort and the other damaged structures in GK Fort and Nayaqila was not done.

    The High Court was approached again, praying that it direct APTDC and the Hyderabad Collector to take steps to stop all developmental, excavation activities and other constructions activities near the Jamalikunta area and Naya Qila area of the Golconda Fort . Based on an undertaking by the Managing Director, APTDC,

    •  that APTDC through the agencies having required expertise will carry out the works in disputed areas strictly in accordance with the conditions imposed by ASI, New Delhi in letter F.No.26/16/98-M dated 29.11.01,

    •  that they will not make or allow any permanent constructions by the licensee ( i.e. HGA ) in the protected area and will safeguard the areas in question.,

    •  that the entire work will be under the supervision of the APTDC and the Government,

    the Honourable High Court directed, vide order dated 26.12.08, the respondent ( APTDC ) to ensure that such work was / is done “ strictly in accordance with the conditions imposed by the 1 st respondent ( ASI, New Delhi) in letter F No 26/16/98-M dated 29.11.01 , in consultation with the ASI. New Delhi”.

    It will be pertinent to mention that the aforesaid letter dated 29.11.01 does not permit any construction work, etc., The letter demanded submission of the draft MOU (with complete lay out of the golf course), for prior approval of ASI and vetting of the Law Ministry.

    Notwithstanding the Court order, works of various types were continued, which again violated the conditions of the draft MOU. In reply to a question under RTA, ASI Hyderabad has informed that they have not given any consent for such works.

    The High Court was approached again and by their order dated 17.3.09, directed the respondents ( which include District Collector, APTDC, HGA, and ASI) not to take up construction or change the contours and adjourned the hearing till 23.3.09 to enable the respondents to file counter affidavits.

    Role of the local administration and the Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Hyderabad circle

    This leaves much to be desired. There was, at best , only lukewarm response to ASI, Hyderabad, when they made complaints, representations to the local authorities. The police registered complaints only under repeated pressure and except in a few cases, they did not convert such complaints to FIRs. The local citizens including members of the petitioner organization made repeated complaints verbally and in writing to the local police station, copy to the C.P., the Hyderabad District Collector, to stop the works but no action was taken. Besides, some of items of agreement(s) were contrary to the conservation of the monument and its precinct areas. We quote by way of example from the Minutes of the Meeting dated 14.9.08:

    “ ASI to fence the moat area as per land survey records”

    “ Area on the HGA ( Hyderabad Golf Association) side of the fence to be

    developed without creating permanent structures”

    Question – Will the Area on the HGA side of the fence fall within the

    fencing of the moat area, done by ASI, Hyderabad Circle?

    “ Maximum trees to be preserved in the area” – Question – why maximum

    instead of stating that all trees to be preserved in the area and no trees to

    be removed without prior written approval of ASI, Hyderabad circle and

    other concerned authorities under WALTA of the state government

    Some important issues
    A policy issue is whether the development inside, and affecting the protected and regulated areas of a monument, should be given to a private party, how such a party should be chosen, and if a private party is entrusted with the charge, what should be an effective mechanism for implementation of safeguards laid down for its proper protection, and to enforce that the licencee performs its obligations strictly. In the instant case, we find to our regret that immediately on receipt of the ASI, New Delhi's in principle, conditional, consent, which clearly stated that it is subject to prior signing of the MOU and its vetting of the Ministry of Law, the APTDC, for reasons unknown, interpreted it as permission and, without completion of the prescribed requirements, handed over the area to the HGA, a purely private organisation, asking them to start the work of laying the golf course , etc. As we have observed from the earlier narration, there were repeated violations of the conditions of the draft MOU, even disregard of the Court orders, misrepresentation of facts, by the HGA, There was definitely failure by the APTDC, the local administration, and the ASI to enforce compliance the conditions by the HGA. There was, to say the least, only lukewarm response to ASI, Hyderabad's representations by the various state authorities. The police registered complaints only under repeated pressure, did not convert such complaints to FIRs. except in a few cases. And took no action, The local citizens including members of the petitioner organization made repeated complaints verbally and in writing to the local police station, copy to the C.P., the Hyderabad District Collector, to stop the works but no action was taken. It is also observed from the minutes of the meetings held among the HGA, that the district collector, and the superintending archaeologist, ASI, Hyderabad, sometimes reached agreements with the HGA when they had no authority to do so when the MOU was not signed and vetted, and contrary to the requirements for protection of the Monument and its environs. Are there any invisible hands behind such inaction of the authorities and the non-chalance of HGA? It is sometimes pleaded as benefits of the golf course that Jamalikunta area, was which was earlier a dumping ground, was grassed and greened; that the golf course will act as

    a protection against encroachment; that Naya qila area has been grassed and greened ! But is the cost therefore justifiable ? such as changing contours, leveling and digging the area, breaking rocks, with use of heavy machinery risking the foundation, all for the purpose of greening and grassing, which for a golf course is substantially different from growing grass in a lawn? Does the state government have no machinery to prevent dumping of garbage in the precinct of a monument, or to prevent encroachment?

    Various civil society groups have , therefore, represented to the ASI, New Delhi that no golf course in the Naya qila area of the Golconda Fort should be allowed;.

    to cancel immediately the in- principle, conditional consent given in ASI letter no F. No. 26/16/98-M dated 29.11.2001. Further, damages to structures, changes in contours, breakage of moat or Fort wall, and all other damages must be restored and free access restored to the citizens especially the tourists and the local people to all the areas of ancient heritage structure.

    On an earlier occasion, after the Hyderabad flood of 2000, the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad had cut a part of the fort wall, which was in a dilapidated condition, to provide Storm Water Drain in the interest and safety of the people living in and around the Fort, a purportedly public purpose. Nevertheless, the Hon'ble High Court, in the W.P. no 7631 of 2002 , gave a direction to the then MCH, that the wall must be restored as it was with the old glory and it was restored under the supervision of ASI officials. In the instant case, the golf course is purely for private use, for members of the HGA.

    It is high time for all citizens and civil society groups, and the right thinking officials to wake up and protect our Monument!

    In a letter dt. 26.3.2009, ASI, New Delhi have been further advised that because of the geology and topography of Nayaquilla area of the Fort, it is just not possible to construct a Golf course therein. The construction will necessarily lead to violation of Acts and Notifications preserving the Golconda fort and its protected areas. Moreover the fulfillment of the conditions laid down by you in the letter of 29.11.2001 is just not possible if a Golf course is to be constructed. This is our considered opinion.

    If they have any doubt on our recommendation, they may refer to a committee of experts to examine the feasibility of laying the Golf course within the Nayaquilla area without violating the Laws and Regulations

    M.Mandal
     
     
    Date: 24.3.2009

    To
    Sri K.N.Shrivastava,
    Director General,
    Office of the Director General
    Archaeological Survey of India
    Janpath, New Delhi - 110011
    Fax no 23019487. Ph - 23013574

    Dear Sir,
    Sub: Setting up of the Golf course within the walls of the
    Naya Qila in Hyderabad – Reg.

    We refer to our last letter dated 20.3.09 on the subject.

    The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Ltd, ( APTDCL) and the Hyderabad Golf Association ( HGA) , for the purpose of laying down a golf course within the Nayaqila area inside the Fort wall have severely endangered the safety of the Golconda Fort, a monument under your protection under the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1951, read with your notification No 3/1/85 dated 5 th August 1985, your clarification that Golconda Fort comprises Citadel, outer fortification walls, gateways and other ancient structures including Naya Qila and Qutub Shahi Mahal fortification walls; notification dated 29.1.1986., gazette notification dated 16.6.1992, declaring the areas up to 100 metres and further beyond it up to 200 metres near or adjoining protected monuments as prohibited and regulated areas respectively for purposes of both construction and mining operations.

    Several gross violations committed by APTDCL and HGA in the Jamalikunta area, which lie in the protected and regulated areas of the Monument (which includes the Fort Wall, the Kondak and the Kondak walls), are stated below:

    * They blasted the foundation of the Fort Wall at places. Photographs vide Nos. 0646, 0649 and 0682,

    * Dug the moat wall ( Kondak ), which is part of the Fort wall, blasted and removed part of the Fort wall and put a slab over it, to allow a passage to the golfers through it, avoiding the road. ( photos ). In a note at the ASI, Hyderabad circle, copy of which was filed with the High Court in the ASI affidavit, it is stated that HGA was constructing an under-passage from the existing golf course to Nayaqila near the exit way and had cut a portion of the Kandak wall over which the road was laid for creating the under-passage for players to enter the Nayaqila by avoiding the risk of crossing the road. The moat wall which is heritage property was removed by the JCB and trying to dismantle the natural rock by means of compressor over which the structure was laid, which may cause danger to the structure.

    Dug the Kunta which existed originally in the monument to increase its height from 5 feet to 7 feet, to allow sufficient clearance to golfers passing through it. Further, they put a gate on it, which was not there in the original structure, to restrict entry to golfers.

    Photographs vide Nos. 0665, 0708.

    * HGA constructed a permanent structure in the Jamalikunta area and also built a compound wall along the road to delineate its area, which are not permissible activities within 300 metres of the Fort wall. Photographs vide No. 0734.

    A few of the many gross violations committed by them, within the Nayaqila area inside the Fort wall endangering the protection of the Monument are stated below:

    * APTDCL and HGA have used heavy machinery, the use of which is strictly prohibited . Please see the photos 8977002 NN-H1, 2974002, 8977002 NNN+3, 8977002 NN-1+2, 8977001, 0750 o885013 NNN-5.

    * Dumped huge amounts of sand, mud, concrete. Photographs vide Nos. 0721 and 0728

    * Contours have been changed by digging, leveling, breaking rocks. Photographs vide Nos. 1762, 1782

    * Graves have been damaged,

    * Entry to Mullah Khayali mosque, and Mustafa Khan mosques, and Hathian ki jhar have been restricted by fencing by HGA around the golf course , and the access to Mustafa Khan mosque by display of sign boards. The access to these sites are to be free and unrestricted to visitors.

    The fencing also prevents the access to the watch tower and the Tope ( cannon).

    Photographs vide No. 7698.

    • 10 acres of Qutb Shahi garden to the right of the present entry point, have not yet been identified . As this area lies within the 50 acres earmarked for the golf course within the Naya qila area within the Fort wall, APTDCL and HGA may flatten and level this area as they have done elsewhere.
    • HGA on occasions even prevented the ASI officials from visiting the area.

    All the above activities are grossly illegal and unauthorized. ASI Hyderabad never gave permission for any of the activities, asked APTDCL and HGA to refrain from the activities. They filed complaints with the police and the local administration, but to no avail. They are proving helpless to prevent such activities, and your urgent intervention is necessary to ensure that the Monument and its environs are not defaced and destroyed.

    For the protection of the Monument, which is in your charge , we request you to cancel immediately the in- principle, conditional consent given in your letter no F. No. 26/16/98-M dated 29.11.2001. Further, damages to structures, changes in contours, breakage of moat or Fort wall, and all other damages must be restored and free access restored to the citizens especially the tourists and the local people to all the areas of ancient heritage structure. Also, in due course, please take action against all persons responsible under the Act.

    These recommendations supersede the recommendations earlier made in the penultimate paragraph of our letter dated 18.3.09, to Sri Anshu Vaish. Former Director.

    In this connection, we enclose a copy of the affidavit dated 24.11.08 by ASI, Hyderabad

    Thanking you,
    Yours faithfully,
    M.VEDAKUMAR

     
    Date: 20.3.2009

    To
    Sri Anshu Vaish,
    Director General,
    Office of the Director General
    Archaeological Survey of India
    Janpath, New Delhi - 110011

    Dear Sir,
    Sub: Setting up of the Golf course within the walls of the
    Naya Qila in Hyderabad – Reg

    Further to our letter dated 10.3.09, we visited the golf course area in the Naya Qila area of the Golconda Fort on 17,9.09. We found the golf course has become operational in the NQ area and golfers were already playing. In particular, we found the following:

    1. We found that the Jamalikunta and the Nayaqila area, the two parts of the golf course, have been connected by cutting a portion of the Kondak wall between the two areas and over the gap thus created, a slab has been put. The Kondak and the Kondak Wall are parts of the Golconda monument. The passage thus created through the Kondak wall under the slab and then through the dry Kondak leads to the Surang, which is an entry provided in the Monument , to Naya Qila area inside the Fort. The floor of the Surang appears to have been dug, by the HGA. to increase its height from 5 feet to 7 feet to enable the golf players to walk through it. In this connexion, it was further informed to the High Court, by the Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Hyderabad in his affidavit dated 24.11.08 that a report dated 13.11.08 submitted by ASI official to the Superintendent, ASI, Hyderabad , that that HGA were making an under-passage from the existing golf course to nayaqila near the exit way and had cut a portion of the Kandak wall over which the road was laid for creating the under-passage for players to enter the nayaqila by avoiding the risk of crossing the road. It was further stated that the moat wall which is heritage property was removed by JCB (as per letter dated 10.6.08, of ASI, Hyderabad, in reply to a letter under RTA, the use of JCB is incorrect and HGA is responsible for its use ) and trying to dismantle the natural rock by means of compressor over which the structure was laid , which may cause danger to the structure.

    Photographs vide attachments: 0685, 0678, 0642, 0668

    The HGA pleaded that the Hyderabad district collector has permitted the work but refused to produce any authority from the collector. MCH too had not given any such permission. There was a claim by APTDC and HGA that the Water Works Department has taken up the activity for laying pipes .  The Water works Department has informed under RTA , that it has not taken any such work and it has not authorized anyone to take up the works at Jamalikunta area. Now these boards are not there.

    We found golfers walking through the Kondak wall and then through the surang between Jamalikunta and Nayaqilla areas of the golf course. Thus the golf course has become fully operational in the Nayaquilla area.

    As you are aware, the Hon'ble High Court in their order dated 2.12.08 directed as follows: “ The affidavits filed in this writ petition go to show that the compound wall of the Golconda Fort has been damaged at certain places. However, it does not appear that any activity from the respondent authorities to rebuild the compound wall , is taken up. ………………..instructed HGA to stop further work until our appeal is disposed of. ASI Hyderabad stated to the Court that they did not accord any permission to the Hyderabad Golf Association to dig earth within the prohibited area.

    “ The Golconda Fort and Nayaqila are the monuments and therefore, ASI has got bounden duty to protect and maintain the same.

    “ Under the circumstances, … the ASI, New Delhi and ASI, Hyderabad Circle shall take immediate steps to reconstruct the compound wall and other damaged structures in Golconda Fort and Nayaquilla and restore the same within a period of two months from today….”

    No repair, or restoration has been done. On the contrary, as stated earlier, this pathway is being regularly used by golfers.

    The High Court was approached again, praying that it direct APTDC and the Hyderabad Collector to take steps to stop all developmental, excavation activities and other constructions activities near the Jamalikunta area and Naya Qila area of the Golconda Fort . Based on an undertaking by the Managing Director, APTDC,

    •  that APTDC through the agencies having required expertise will carry out the works in disputed areas strictly in accordance with the conditions imposed by ASI, New Delhi in letter F.No.26/16/98-M dated 29.11.01,

    •  that they will not make or allow any permanent constructions by the licensee ( i.e. HGA ) in the protected area and will safeguard the areas in question.,

    •  that the entire work will be under the supervision of the APTDC and the Government,

    the Honourable High Court directed, vide their order dated 26.12.08, the respondent ( APTDC ) to ensure that such work was / is done “ strictly in accordance with the conditions imposed by the 1 st respondent ( ASI, New Delhi) in letter F No 26/16/98-M dated 29.11.01 , in consultation with the ASI. New Delhi “.

    Notwithstanding the Court order, works of various types were continued, which clearly violated the conditions of the draft MOU. In reply to a question under RTA, ASI Hyderabad has informed that they have not given any consent for such works.

    The High Court was approached again and by their order dated 17.3.09, directed the respondents ( which include District Collector, APTDC, HGA, and ASI) not to take up construction or change the contours and adjourned the hearing till 23.3.09 to enable the respondents to file counter affidavits. Relative press cuttings are enclosed.

    We would like to bring to your notice that the MOU has not yet been signed – even important information such as the lay out of the Golf Course has not been submitted to ASI, New Delhi. The letter dated 29-11-01 clearly says that the approved MOU has to be sent to the Law Ministry for appropriate clearance. Thus as on date, there is no clearance from the ASI. In any event works taken up by the R4 cannot go beyond the rules and provisions of the Act. Notwithstanding the pendency of these matters, the APTDC and the HGA have interpreted the conditional and in principle consent to construct the golf course, by ASI, New Delhi , as permission for the works regarding the Golf Course . Nobody has cared to abide by the Court orders that the fort wall, kondak, contours, etc, be restored. On the contrary, the APTDC and the HGA are continuing the works,

    Now they are trying to extend the golf course to the remaining 50 acres within the NQ area, which includes 10 acres of the Qutb Shahi gardens. Condition no 5 of the draft MOU states that there is evidence of a Qutub Shahi garden to the right of the present entry point and that this portion of land comprising about 10 acres will be developed as per the original layout, records of which are available with the Hyderabad Circle ( of ASI ). Till this is done, no work should be further allowed to extend the golf course. Besides, this area has houses, canals, baradari texture, which are sure to be affected if the golf course is extended. We suspect unless checked, the APTDC/HGA may level, flatten this area too for extending the golf course.

    We, therefore, request :

    No golf course in Naya Quilla area should be allowed

    •  until MOU is signed and vetted by Law Ministry, and you may cancel the existing in principle, conditional approval, till the MOU is signed and vetted by Law Ministry.

    •  Until restoration of all damages , changes in contours, etc.,

    •  until the closing of the breakage in the Kondak wall between Jamalikunta area and Naya Quilla area and restoration.

    It will be a national shame if a national monument , which is sought to be recognized as a world heritage site, is allowed to be defaced and destroyed to cater to the private pleasures of a handful elite, despite the Act and the existence of the ASI. Kindly act in the matter immediately.

    Thanking you,
    Yours faithfully,
    M.VEDAKUMAR

     
     
    Date: 24.2.2009

    To Date: 24.2.2009
    The Superintendent
    Archaeological Survey of India
    Kendriya Sadan, 3 rd Floor, 2 nd Block,
    Sultan Bazar,  Koti,
    Hyderabad

    Sir, Sub: Nayaquilla Kandak Restoration – Hyderabad Golf Course Academy – reg.

    As you are aware, the GOI, vide its Extra-ordinary notification dated 29 th November 1951 has declared the Golconda Fort, in Hyderabad District as a protected monument under the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act 1904 later known as the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1951. Subsequently. its notification No 3/1/85 dated 5 th August 1985, clarified Golconda Fort as comprising Citadel, outer fortification walls, gateways and other ancient structures including Naya Qila and Qutub Shai Mahal fortification walls. By notification dated 29.1.1986 , “All the private land within the Fort” was declared as a prohibited area for the purpose of constructions. By Gazette notification dated 16.6.1992, the areas up to 100 metres and further beyond it up to 200 metres near or adjoining protected monuments were declared as prohibited and regulated areas respectively for purposes of both mining operations and construction.

    We would like to bring the following few lines to your notice in the light of the above Rules & Regulations in case of encroachment at Nayaquilla and expect immediate reply with relevant information/action planned by ASI to stall the encroachment

    •  Stop all the activities in Nayaquilla as they are changing contours by using heavy machinery by dumping soil being bought from out side.

    •  Many artifacts lying below the ground and also the Deccani Garden's location is not identified so far in Nayquilla.

    •  In a Telugu Daily of yesterday's date, it is published that while using heavy machinery to dip soil, century old coins were found and was informed to the Collector, MRO and the concerned official. Finally the coins have reached your office.

    It is not known as to how many buckets of coins or how many number coins are found

    •  This activity was brought to the notice of the earstwhile official that such leveling will disturb the archeological site. The Treasure and Trove Act which is meant to safeguard such treasure will hopefully be implemented strictly to stop such activity.

    •  Please check and advise us whether work is continuing after the date of Court's instruction not to carry on such activity in the area. If the work is being carried on, is it happening under the permissible ASI Act & Rules? Please enlighten us.

    •  As per court order the Respondent 1 has to restore the excavated “Kandak” immediately without any delay. As per our knowledge the Court has issued instructions in the month of December, 2008 to restore the Kandak immediately if it not done, has to be taken up immediately.

    The Hindu dated 22.2.09 reports what work is going on at site despite the court orders. This is very disturbing. Please advise us the correct position

    Thanking you,

    SANGHAMITRA MALIK
    Joint Secretary- Forum For A Better Hyderabad
    _________________________________
    RASHEED AHMED
    Organiser
    PUCAAR

    C.C to : 1. Sri.Anshu Vaish, The Director General, Archelogical Survey of India, New Delhi.
    2. Smt  D.Lakshmi Parthasarathy Bhaskar, IAS, Principal Secretary to Govt., Tourism, Culture & Youth Dept., Secretariat, Hyd.
    Sri.Shravan Kumar, IAS., (Retd.,), Convenor, INTACH A.P.Chapter, Hyderabad
    Sri.Sajjad Shahid, Secretary, Centre for Deccan Studies, Hyderabad.
    Dr.V.V.Krishna Shastry, President, Historical Society of Hyderabad, Hyd.

    Sub: Press Meet on Filling of Kandak’s at Nayaquilla, Golconda Fort on 6.11.2008
    The historic Baobab tree abutting the Golconda Fort surely must have heaved a sigh of relief as a campaign got under way on Thursday to protect its environs.
    Social activists, concerned citizens and stakeholders launched a ‘Save Golconda’ campaign to protect the heritage monuments in Naya Quila area and to stop the construction activity taken up by the Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA).
    Later, the activists under the aegis of People’s Union for Civic Action and Rights (PUCAAR) and Forum For A Better Hyderabad lodged a complaint at the Golconda police station seeking stoppage of the construction activity taken up ‘unauthorisedly’ by the HGA.
    The government had not signed any MoU with the HGA and yet the latter had commenced construction activity to set up a golf course within the walls of the Naya Qila encompassing an area of 50 acres.

    Forum’s contention
    The agricultural land belonged to 59 families and none of them were willing to part with it, said M. Vedkumar, forum president, and Mohd Afzal, convenor, PUCAAR.
    They told presspersons that the HGA had fixed a gate and put up a private security guard on the approach road to ‘Hathiyan ka Jhad’ making accessibility to visitors and tourists difficult.
    The historic ‘khandak’ (moat) around the fort from Banjari Darwaza to Jamali Darwaza was being filled with garbage and debris. The whole thing was being done in violation of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Act governing heritage monuments.
    Helpless situation
    “The ASI is totally helpless in protecting its monument with the district administration remaining mute witness,” Mr. Vedkumar said.
    Referring to the joint inspection meeting held on September 14, he said it was decided that the HGA would not take up any brick or stone work in the Naya Quila area till a MoU was signed but the construction activity was going on unabated.

    Nayaquilla:
    Surveillance at Golconda fort by the Forum and other NGOs :

    A team of the NGOs at the site

    Trenches are being filled up along the side of Golconda Fort Wall by private entrepreneurs.

    Dt: 15.10.2008
    To
    Sri.G.P.Rao
    Chairman,
    Heritage Conservation Committee
    8-2-588/1, Plot No. 22, Road No.8,
    Banjara Hills,
    HYDERABAD-34


    Sir,
    Sub: The legendary Tamarind Tree deserves for notification as a Heritage Tree – reg.


    The legendary 400 year old tamarind tree which saved nearly 150 lives, when the city was devastated by floods in the river Musi 100 years ago in 1908. This historic tree, which was named ‘Prana Dhatri’ by the then collector of Hyderabad, is located between Puranapul and Chanderghat in the premises of Osmania General Hospital.

    The Tree, with the above merits to its credit, certainly deserves to be notified as a Heritage Tree. Hence, we request you to consider our proposal and take necessary steps to provide heritage status to the historic tree.

    Thanking you,
    Yours sincerely,
    M.VEDAKUMAR
    President, Forum for a Better Hyderabad.
    CC to: 1.Sri.S.P.Singh, IAS., Commissioner, GHMC, Hyderabad
    2.Sri.Sudheer.K.Mohan, Chief City Planner, HMDA, Hyderabad




     
    TOWARD A MUSI CHARTER

    A Coordination meeting was held at the Urdu Hall on 13th September 2008 to discuss Planning failures that afflict the City. Concerned at the almost total collapse of infrastructure which has left the city reeling, especially in this rainy season, a number of individuals and organizations had resolved to debate various aspects that need immediate attention. The objective of the deliberations is to put together a charter for returning the City its lost glory.

    The devastating Musi Floods of 1908 were a turning point in the history of Hyderabad. They mark a coming together of the People and its Administrators to bring about a remarkable transformation of Hyderabad from a festering urban slum into a beautiful
    City. Today, a hundred years later, we are back to where we had started and are certainly worse off due to the increased magnitude of problems due to unprecedented growth and expansion that the City has witnessed over the past few decades.

    Over the next few months, we intend to debate issues relating to Planning, Water Management, Slums, Housing, Transportation, Heritage and Administrative aspects with the intention of identifying the basic problems and where possible proposing solutions. We hope that by the time we complete this exercise, a concise document, The Musi Charter, will emerge and serve as a guideline for future affirmative action.

    A number of organizations have come forward to contribute towards this objective. The Centre for Deccan Studies (CDS) and the Forum for Better Hyderabad (FBH) initiated this dialogue and have been joined by the Muslim Educational Social & Cultural Organisation (MESCO), INTACH - Hyderabad Chapter, SPEQL, COVA, PUKAR, CHATRI and ROSHAN VIKAS, THE RIGHT TO WALK FOUNDATION and others.

    The series of deliberations commences with a public meeting, to pay homage to those who lost their lives in the 1908 Floods and to acknowledge the sprit of the people of Hyderabad who rallied around, overcoming their personal tragedies, to ensure that we had a beautiful city.

    In this connection a MEMORIAL MEET was held under the GREAT TAMARIND TREE which saved 150 lives during the 1908 Floods, in the Park of Osmania General Hospital, at 11 AM on the 28th of September 2008, in a show of Solidarity and reaffirm our pride in our City.

     
    Date: 4.9.2008
    To
    Sri.K.S.Jawahar Reddy, IAS
    Commissioner, HMDA
    Greenlands Guest House, Begumpet
    HYDERABAD
    Dear Sir,
    Erection of a structure in the premises of Vilayath Manzil, Begumpet railway station, Heritage building serial no 76, code 3.32, Grade – II-B.
    We bring to your kind notice that the Country Club , which is using the above premises has erected a steel and corrugated structure in the compound of the above heritage building, which they let out to various commercial concerns for holding of fairs, etc, and may be deemed to be a permanent structure.

    2. In terms of Regulation 13.9C of the HUDA Zoning Regulations, 1981, which lays down the scope of changes in Grade II B heritage buildings ( which includes additional buildings in the same plot or compound), development permission for the changes is required to be obtained from the Vice-Chairman, HUDA who will act in consultation with the Heritage Conservation Committee. . Such permission may be allowed provided that the construction is in harmony with ( and does not detract from) the existing building. This structure obstructs the view of the heritage building by the public and definitely diminishes its value. It should never be permitted even if it is temporary. We request you have the aforesaid structure and any other structures that were not there in the original plan of the premises, removed in so far they diminish the value of the building.

    3. We request you to take urgent action in the matter.

    4. In this connexion, on three earlier occasions also, the Country Club had erected such structures against which we had lodged complaint with you. Intach, Hyderabad chapter, had also complained similarly. The structure was subsequently removed by the club but again they have erected it without permission of the appropriate authorities. Please intervene effectively so that the Club strictly obeys the conservation laws for heritage buildings.

     
    Dt: 23.8.2008
    PRESS RELEASE
    ‘Saviour’ tree faces axe

    We are concerned to see the report in Times of India of 23.9.08 stating that the GHMC plans to cut the legendary 400 year old tamarind tree which saved nearly 150 lives, when the city was devastated by floods in the river Musi 100 years ago in 1908. This historic tree, which was named ‘Prana Dhatri’ by the then collector of Hyderabad, is located between Puranapul and Chanderghat, where the road is proposed to be widened by 30 feet from existing 80 feet width.

    We wish to inform the public that following the cutting of a 400 year old banyan tree in front of the US Consulate office, the GHMC Commissioner had given us an undertaking that GHMC would freeze all orders on tree cutting until an expert committee further goes into each and every case and examines all alternatives. We hope the commissioner will stand by his assurance and will give necessary instructions to the concerned authorities to drop the ideas of felling the historic tamarind tree which has Heritage Value.

    In the circumstances, the reported decision to cut the tamarind tree, that too with such a historic record of sustaining the lives of hundreds of hyderabadis during the floods, is a disturbing, insensitive decision and will violate all the understanding so far given to us. We hope it is not true. We, however, appeal to the government not to take such a precipitate decision and to the public to resist it.

    O.M. DEBARA
    Genearal Secretory, Forum For A Better Hyderabad.

    The following organizations express concern:
    • U-FERWAS (United Federation of Residents Welfare Associations) • Greenabad Group, Initiative of TOI. • SAVE ROCKS SOCIETY • COVA (Confederation of Voluntary Association) • CHATRI (Campaign for Housing and Tenurial Right ) • WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature India) • INTACH. A.P. Chapter (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) • SPEQL (Society for Preservation of Environment and Quality of Life) • APNAWATAN • NAPM (National Alliance for People Movement)• Coalition for Peace and Harmony • Concerned Citizens • Turaga Foundation • Right to Walk Foundation. • URTI (United Federation of Right to Information Act) • GAMANA.
    • CHELIMI Foundation. • Hyderabad Greens Society • Children’s Educational Academy. • PUKAR. • Hyderabad Action Group. • Ham Sub Hindustani Trust. • Uma Nagar Residents Welfare Association. • Citizens For Better Public Transport

    Date: 10.4.2008
    To
    Sri A. Raghotham Rao, IAS
    The Chief Secretary,
    Government of Andhra Pradesh
    Secretariat
    HYDERABAD
                      Dear Sir,
    Sub: G Block in the Secretariat premises ( Saifabad palace)
    We refer to the meeting held on 27.2.08 in the office of the Chief Secretary to discuss what should be done about the G Block. ( Saifabad palace). We have not so far received the minutes of the meeting. We recall ( a) The meeting noted the Hon’ble High Court’s judgment dated 31.12.04 “In case the Committee expresses opinion to include it in the heritage buildings, it will be for the Government to take steps to amend the notification.” (b) The Heritage Conservation Committee has since advised the government of its recommendation to include the ‘G’ Block building in the Secretariat in the list of notified heritage buildings. (c) A committee of engineers appointed by the state government stated that it will not be worthwhile saving the building considering the high cost of preservation .

    During the discussions it emerged that the engineers do not state that the building could not be saved; they only referred to the cost of saving. On questioning they opined that the building could still be preserved

    It was also noted that the Heritage Conservation Committee, to whom the report of the committee of engineers was referred to by HUDA earlier, had reiterated their recommendation that the G Block should and can be preserved, and had noted that the committee of engineers had never stated in their report that the building was not capable of preservation, but the committee of engineers had only referred to the cost of preservation. Historic buildings should be considered for protection not on the basis of the cost of preservation or its use but its historical, architectural, associational and other values which abound in the G Block.

    The meeting was participated in by Chairman, and members of the Heritage Conservation Committee, ,Forum For A Better Hyderabad, INTACH, HUDA , Principal Secretaries of GAD, MAU & D, TR & B. concerned departmental engineers (R & B ). Speakers after speakers from the Heritage Conservation Committee, ,Forum For A Better Hyderabad, INTACH, stressed the values of the G Block and opined unambiguously for its conservation. It was further stressed that the building was owned by the government, and the A.P government was a pioneer in framing heritage regulations and it should show an example in protecting a building with heritage qualities which belongs to it, as an eye opener to the private owners of heritage buildings It is also noted that the engineers or any department of the government did not contradict that the building was capable of being saved.

    Considering all of the above discussions, we conclude that the meeting was in favour of the preservation of the G Block. Accordingly, we earnestly request the government to preserve the building and notify it as a heritage building, thereby honouring the wishes of all and the sentiments of the Honourable High Court. . There should be no reason for any further delay in taking the decision to preserve the building and such delay will only add to the cost of preservation

    Thanking you,
    Yours sincerely,
    (M.VEDAKUMAR)
    President
    Forum For A Better Hyderabad
    Mobile: 9959922022
    C.C to:
    1. Sri.R.M.Gonela, IAS.., Principal Secretary to the Government, GAD., Secretariat, Hyd.
    2. Sri.T.Chatterji, IAS., Principal Secretary to the Government, TR & B, Secretariat, Hyd.
    3. SriS.P.Singh, IAS., Principal Secretary to the Government, MA & UD, Secretariat, Hyd.
    4. Sri.G.P.Rao, IAS., Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, HUDA, Hyderabad
    5. Sri.K.Jawahar Reddy, IAS., Vice Chairman, HUDA, Hyderabad.
    Date: 20.4.2007
    To
    Sri.Jayesh Ranjan, IAS.,
    Vice Chairman,
    HUDA,
    Hyderabad
    Dear Sir,
    Concrete structure before Faluknama Palace - Hindu dated 19.7.07.
    We refer to the report entitled “ History can wait” with a picture “Pushed to the background” showing how concrete structure is coming up next to Faluknama Palace, which is notified heritage Building , Grade II B under serial no 55. Under Regulation 13of HUDa zoning regulations 1981, under item C regarding scope for changes , it states, “ extension or additional buildings in the same plot or compound could, in certain circumstances, be allowed provided that the extension/additional building is in harmony with (and does not detract from) existing heritage building(s) or precincts especially in terms of height and façade”. Prima facie, this is not the case in the present instance.

    The regulation further says “ Development permission for the changes would be given by Vice Chairman, HUDA, in consultation with a sub-committee of the Heritage Conservation Committee.” Was such approval obtained?
    Kindly take suitable action and advise us.
    Thanking you,
    Yours sincerely,


    (VEDAKUMAR.M)
    Convenor, Heritage Cell
    Forum For A Better Hyderabad
    &      
    President, Forum For A Better Hyderabad
    C.C: 1.Sri.G.P.Rao, Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, Hyd.
    2.Sri.Sanjay Jaju, IAS., Commissioner, MCH, Hyd.
    3.Sri.Shravan Kumar, IAS (Retd.,) Convenor, INTACH, Hyd.
    4.Sri.Raymond Peter, IAS., Managing Director, Dept.of Tourism, Hyd

    Date: 20.4.2007

    To
    Sri.Sanjay Jaju, IAS.,
    The Commissioner,
    Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad,
    Hyderabad.
    Dear Sir,
    Road widening from Sher-e-batil Kaman to Motigalli

    We refer to our letters dated 16.4.2007 and 17.4.2007 submitted to you and acknowledged by your office. We enclose copies of these letters for your ready reference.

    Briefly speaking, we had raised our objections to the road widening undertaken by you in the above route, as this was not being done without obtaining prior approval of the HUDA and the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) as required under the Heritage Regulations and as directed in a A.P. High Court judgment in 2001.. We met the District Collector, Hyderabad on 16.4.07 and at his intervention it was temporarily stopped. We ( myself and Mr. Onim Debara, General secretary of the Forum For A Better Hyderabad ) also met Mr. Dhanajaya Reddy, Additional Commissioner, under your direction, and requested him to at least defer the road widening till you are able to obtain permission from the HUDA and the HCC. Mr. Dhanajaya Reddy, Additional Commissioner, verbally agreed but to our surprise, we noticed that on 17.4.07, the work of demolition as a prelude to road widening started. Further, due to the absence of precaution taken by the persons engaged, some stones fell from the Sher-e-batil-ki-kaman , a grade-I.Heritage structure,. in the process of pulling down a building adjacent to the Sher-e-batil-ki-kaman , one of the Charkamans in Charminar precinct.. This shows utter negligence in dealing with a notified heritage structure, as you should have engaged an conservation expert , such expertise being very much available at Hyderabad , before undertaking the work. Besides, we have been telling and represented repeatedly, that the road widening undertaken by MCH in this route is not covered by the approval of the HUDA and HCC. We endorsed copies of our letters to Vice Chairman, HUDA, the Chairman of HCC, Mr. Sushil Kumar, a member of HCC and also to the Convener of Intach, Hyderabad chapter. We understand that HUDA is investigating whether this route was covered under the permission for road widening given by them earlier.

    Huda officials, INTACH, Hyderabad chapter as well as HCC members with whom we spoke are of the opinion that it would be advisable if the road widening in this part of the route is suspended for a while till the permission given by them is scrutinized. Further, we are of the view that even if a permission was earlier given, there is always scope for its revision if additional structures of potential heritage value are identified. Intach, Hyderabad chapter has already started the work of identifying additional 600 structures of heritage value and by prima facie examination, some buildings of heritage value ( about 16) but not yet notified as heritage building as yet, have been noticed. You will appreciate that while the list of heritage buildings and road widening permission may be revised and is thus changeable, the demolition of heritage buildings and change of the character of the area, is irreversible. The balance of sense would therefore lie in favour of suspending the road widening in that route till the matter is examined by the HCC, so as to scrutinize the coverage of their permission and whether in view of new facts, the permission needs revision. Please note that the next meeting of the HCC is only a few days away and we have placed our request to them for consideration.

    Another important fact , we would like to bring to your notice, is that . Heritage in the entire street would get destroyed as a result of the road widening, although there are alternatives such as making the street one way. The whole purpose of Charminar pedestrianisation will get defeated if the heritages along the roads proposed to be widened are destroyed
    Thanking you,
    Yours sincerely
    (VEDAKUMAR.M)
    Convenor, Heritage Cell
    Forum For A Better Hyderabad
    &              
    President, Forum For A Better Hyderabad
    C.C to:
    1.Sri.Jayesh Ranjan, IAS., Vice-Chairman, HUDA, with a request to immediately take up the matter with the MCH
    2.Sri.G.P.Rao, Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, with a view to taking up the matter for suspension of road widening and revising the road widening permission to include buildings of heritage value, but not yet notified
    3.Sri.Shravan Kumar, IAS., (Retd.,) Convener, INTACH, Hyderabad chapter.
    4.Sri.R.V.Chandravadan, IAS., Collector, Hyderabad Dist.,
    Representation
     
     
     
     
    Date:17.4.07
    Mr.Dhananjuy Reddy,
    Additional Commissioner,
    Muncipal Corporation of Hyderabad.;
    Hydeabad

    Dear Sir,
    Road widening from Sher-e-batil Kaman to Motigalli
    Yesterday ( 16.4.07) we objected to road widening in the above part of the Charminar precinct, because :

    1.The road widening would lead to the demolition of Mettika Sher, which has been notified as a Heritage Building by the latest notification by HUDA, and that

    2.No permission, as per our information, has been obtained by you from Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) for road widening in this route and the permission earlier obtained by MCH in does not cover this route. In a High Court judgment presided over by the Honourable C.J., in court case baring number 20387 of 2001, it was unabmbiguously ruled that prior pemission must invariably be obtained from HCC for any road widening in the Charminar precinct takes place.

    3.Yesterday, when myself and Mr. Debara met you, you promised to obtain the permission of HCC before undertaking road widening work. Despie that, we have information that road widening has been resumed around the Mittika Sher, leaving it intact. This is clearly a violation of Heritage Regulations and also contempt of the Court. Earlier, in a written reply to us, the Commissioner had stated that he was aware of the above-referred court case and that he would abide by its judgment and tat he would undertake no work where prior permission is required from HCC, without obtaining it. We enjoin upon you to immediately stop all work of road widening in that area, without obtaining prior permission of HCC, failing which we shall be constrained to take all necessary step.

    4.Please acknowledge receipt of this letter.

    Yours Faithfully,
    (Vedakumar.M)
    President
    Copy to 1. The Special officer, G.M.C.H for information and action.
    2.The Commissioner, MCH for information and action.
    3.The Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, with a request to take
    immediate action.
    4.To the Vice -chairman, HUDA, with a request to take immediate action
    Date:16-04-2007
    To
    Sri R.V.CHANDRAWADAN,I.A.S
    The Collector,
    Hyderabad District,
    Hyderabad.
    Dear Sir,
    Road widening from Sher-e-batil Kaman to Motigalli, MITTI-KA-SHER
    The Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad is proceeding with the work of road widening in the above area, despite our objection, and they are not prepared to heed our request even to suspend it, at least. We object to road widening in this part of the Charminar precinct, because of two reasons:

    1.The road falls in Charminar precinct area and as per heritage regulations, no road widening in the precinct can take place without the prior approval of the Heritage Conservation Committee ( HCC). We doubt whether the earlier permission given by the HCC extends to this part of the road, and the MCH has failed to show us the permission of the HCC, covering this part of the road. Therefore, unless and until they are able to produce the permission of the HCC, if at all granted , the road widening should be stopped till the facts about the contents and coverage of the permission of the HCC is verified.

    2.In this part of the road, the Mettika Sher is located, which has been notified as a Heritage site by the latest notification by HUDA , which has notified 14 additional Buildings as heritage sites. Therefore, even if any permission had earlier been given by the HCC for road widening in this part of the road, by the subsequent notification of HUDA declaring Mettika Sher as a heritage site, this site has to exempted and preserved and a fresh permission to demolish this site is required to be taken from HUDA acting on the advice of HCC. Such permission has not been taken. Yet, this site falls within the area of proposed road widening, and if the proposed road widening takes place, this site will be demolished.

    3.Accordingly, the demolition of Mettika Sher for road widening is illegal and violative of the heritage regulations and cannot be permitted. Secondly, we also request you to stop the road widening in this part of the road till the MCH is able to show the permission of MCH for widening this part of the road. Further, if at all permission was obtained from HCC for road widening in this part of the road, Mettika Sher has to be kept intact.

    4.We request you to take immediate action.

    For any information please do not hesitate to contact Sri.M.Vedakumar on
    9848044713, Sri.Debara on:9848097188

    Yours Faithfully,
    (Vedakumar.M)
    President
    Copy to 1. Sri Sanjay JaJu the Commissioner MCH,
    2. Sri G.P.Rao Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, with a request
    to take immediate action.
    3. Sri Jayesh.Ranjan Vice -chairman, HUDA, with a request to take
    immediate action

    Letter to G.P.Rao on Gandhi Medical College.

    To   Date: 2.12.2006
    Sri G.P. RAO,
    Chairman,
    Heritage Conservation Committee,
    H U D A, Paigah
    Hyderabad - 500016.
    Dear Sri GP Rao garu,
    We thank you and the other members of the Heritage Conservation Committee
    ( HCC ) for listening to our objections to the demolition work going on in respect of the City Improvement Trust Building, Heritage building grade 1 Serial no 22 I and the Lady’s Hydri Club, heritage building grade 2B serial no 70 IIB, in the compound premises of the erstwhile Gandhi Medical College, now handed over to GSG Constructions Private Ltd for construction of mall, etc. We have the following further submissions to make, in pursuance of our meeting on 30.11.06. These submissions are in addition to our submissions made in our letter dated 24.11.06

    * We contend that the City Improvement Board Building has been damaged and that it is untrue to say that it was not damaged. Further, its doors and windows were removed. To prove our point, we attach the following photographs marked 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and photo with newspaper clipping in Andhra Jyoti dated 23.11.06, marked AJ1
    * We contend that the Lady’s Hydri Club has been damaged and that it is untrue to say that it was not damaged. Further, its doors and windows and the flooring were removed. To prove our point, we attach the following photographs marked 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

    * We contend that contrary to the statement of MCH published in some newspapers that the MCH has got the work stopped, and sealed the buildings, we found work going on and no seals on the doors of the above buildings. That work was going on is established by the following photographs, marked 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and photo in Indian Express dated 23.11.06. When the doors had been removed, where was the question of sealing? The following photographs establish that no sealing was done.

    *A point was sought to be made that the rear portion of the CIB building was not part of the heritage structure but was added later on. We dispute this and submit that it was an integral part of the notified Grade 1 heritage building. We would refer you to the documentation of the heritage building and re-examine the matter.

    *We further enclose photos of the CIB building and the Ladies Hydri Club as on/near the dates of their documentation as HBs
    Charminar Precinct: Lad bazaar and Chowk area.
    Charminar Precinct boundaries have been defined by GO Ms No 4 MA datd 2.1.03. A copy of it is enclosed. The boundaries include the Chowk area. Further, in response to the writ petition no 20387 of 2001, the Heritage Conservation Committee had made the following recommendation.

    The Committee stressed that the façade on all sides of the Mahboob Chowk must be protected at all costs since this was a typical historic square. The Bird Market must be conserved and maintained in a hygienic manner. The façade of the row of shops along the road from lad Bazar to Shad Café so far as they constituted the northern façade of the Chowk should be rebuilt in the same style to preserve the integrity of the place, while inside they may be modern structures
    We consider it completely arbitrary and beyond the competence of the MCH to unilaterally take a view that only the Lad bazaar area needs to be protected under the precinct regulation at Charminar and the Chowk area need not. Both constitute the parts of the essential character of Charminar, which has given it the status of a precinct. What is to be protected and what not in a precinct is in the competence of the HCC only. MCH has to obtain the prior approval of the HCC, as was unambiguously ruled by the AP High Court in the above WP. We also refer to the letter no 11137/HCC/Policy/Plg/HUDA/99 dated 15.5.00 by HUDA. We quote:

    The committee suggested that since the Heritage precincts cover substantially large areas, it will be necessary to exclude small and insignificant structures from the requirement of examination by HUDA and the Heritage Conservation Committee.

    The Committee therefore decided that till the matter is further reviewed by the Committee or HUDA, only the following types of cases should be referred to HUDA/Heritage Conservation Committee.

    New constructions, Redevelopment or demolition in respect of

    1. Charminar precinct, Heritage Precincts No.10
    a. All buildings taller than 10 meters in height.
    b. All buildings facing the road from Nayapul to aliyabad Chowrasta.
    c. All buildings on plots larger than 2000 sq.mts.
    d. All road development plans.

    We would like to know whether the current road widening covering Chowk area was explicitly approved by HCC, or the MCH has on its own, modified the earlier sanction of the HCC.

    We suggest that before finalizing any road widening plan, MCH appoint a group of two or three conservation experts locally available, to go along the route chosen for the widening, scrutinize all old buildings that may have potentials for recognition as HB, along the route. This group will submit its report to the HCC so that some preparatory work is available to them before visiting the site/ taking decision. We adopted a similar course of action when looking at the road widening plan from Charminar to Faluknama.

    Thanking you,
    (M. VEDAKUMAR)
    Convenor, Heritage Cell
    Forum For A Better Hyderabad


    C.C to: 1. Sri.S.P.Singh, IAS., Principal Secretary, MA & UD Dept., Govt.of A.P, Hyd.
    2. Sri.Jayesh Ranjan, IAS., Vice Chairman, HUDA, Hyd.
    3. Sri.Sanjay Jaju, IAS., Commissioner, MCH, Hyd.
    4 Sri.R.V.Chandravadan, IAS., Collector, Hyderabad Dist., Hyderabad
    5. Sri.A.K.Mahanthi, IPS., Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad
    6. Sri.Rajeshwar Tiwari, IAS., Member Secretary, A.P.P.C.B, Hyd

    Demolished Portico at Old Gandhi Medical College

    Protest by the Heritage Cell membersand NGOs at Old Gandhi Medical College

    Buldozing the Haritage Structure at Old GMC. Demolished heritage valued mulgis at Laad Bazar
    Protest by the Heritage Cell members and NGOs at LaadBazar
    Letter to Sanjay jaju on Charminar precincts
    To   Date: 29.11.2006
    Sri.Sanjay Jaju, IAS.,
    Commissioner
    Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad
    HYDERABAD
    Sir,
    Demolition of shops at Ladbazaar in Charminar precinct as part of
    Road widening programme, without obtaining permission
    of Heritag Conservation Committee.
    We have gathered information that a number old shops at Ladbazar toward Chowmahalla palace are being pulled down , may be as part of the road widening programme. These shops are an integral part of the Charminar precinct. As per Regulation 13 of HUDA Zonal Regulations 1981, prior permission has to be obtained from the HUDA who are to act on the advice of the Heritage Conservation Committee. There is an unambiguous ruling of the AP High Court on this also.

    We understand the Heritage Conservation Committee is meeting urgently to examine the matter of road widening in that particular area of the Charminar precinct, where the shops are being demolished.. We request you that till such meeting takes place, and HCC is satisfied that the road widening programme is in accordance with their approval given in 2003, the work and the demolition of shops be suspended.. We , therefore, urge upon you to immediately stop this demolition work and await instructions from the Heritage Conservation Committee.

    This letter is being endorsed to HUDA Vice-Chairman, the Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, for necessary action.

    Yours Faithfully,

    M.Mandal
    Heritage Cell
      Omim Maneckshaw Debara
    General Secretary
    Copy to 1. Sri.Jayesh Ranjan,IAS., Vice-Chairman. HUDA for suitable action.
    2. Sri.G.P.Rao, Chairman. Heritage Conservation Committee, HUDA
    for suitable action.
    3. Sri.Shravan Kumar, IAS., (Retd.,) Convener, INTACH, Hyderabad Chapter
    TOP
    Destruction of Heritage
    To   Date:24-11-2006
    Sri.Jayesh Ranjan, IAS
    Vice Chairman
    HUDA
    Begumpet
    HYDERABAD
    Dear Sir,

    Sub: Destruction of heritage . Visit on 22.11.06
    Representatives from several NGOs such as the Forum For A Better Hyderabad, Coalition for Peace and Harmony , COVA, Pukaar, Apna Watan, Mr. Burgula Narsinga Rao, a social activist, and Dr. V.K Bawa from Center for Deccan studies and several other prominent individuals visited the old Gandhi Medical College, Basheerbagh and later on Lad bazaar on 22nd November, 2006. Gandhi Medical College, a notified, grade I heritage building, housed the city improvement trust board of the Nizam. It is popularly known as the principal’s office. It doors were found removed and its rear portion has been partly broken apparently due to an attempt to pull it down which was subsequently stopped. The ladies Hydari club, a notified grade II B heritage building, is without doors and windows and its flooring has been removed. The MCH has failed to protect these buildings, in violation of its statutory responsibility to protect heritage buildings and precincts in its jurisdictional area. Please arrange to have the buildings restored in accordance with the conservation regulations.

    Contrary to a statement by MCH Additional Commissioner that the MCH has stopped the demolition work and sealed the building until further orders, vide Indian Express dated 18.11.06, we found that the City Improvement Trust building and the Hyadri club were not sealed but were wide open. Further, work was not at all stopped but was going on in full swing. We have documented our findings for further action, if required.

    It seems that before handling over the premises to the developer, permission was not obtained from the heritage conservation committee, as required in respect of heritage buildings. We would like to know how this omission happened and what action is proposed against the delinquent persons and to prevent recurrence. The matter must also be referred to the Heritage Conservation Committee immediately, for their suitable action.

    We would also like to know what instructions were issued to the developer at the time of handing over the heritage building. A copy of the letter containing these instructions and the memorandum/agreement signed by the developers may also be furnished to us. We ask for this information under the Right to Information Act.
    We also fail to understand the need for construction of a mall, etc., in the erstwhile Gandhi Medical College premises. Instead, what Hyderabad needs is more parks and open space & reducing the pressure of traffic.

    Ladbazar

    Ladbazar is within the Charminar precinct and road widening and removal of old buildings having heritage features, require the prior approval of the heritage conservation committee. In the judgment on Writ petition no 20387 of 2001, the High Court ruled that such permission was a must. “There cannot be any doubt whatsoever that having regard to the policy decision taken by the State and keeping in view Regulation no 13 of HUDA Zoning Regulations Act 1981, the requirements there under must be complied with before taking up the Zonal Development Plans in Heritage Precinct no 10”.

    Notwithstanding Regulation 13 and the aforesaid judgment, a number of mulgis (shops) of the Deccan style of construction, which was very popular during the nizam period, were found recently demolished, for road widening. This is changing the character of the city and is clearly in violation of concept of precinct and the state’s own heritage regulations.

    We are surprised that even the proposal submitted by the govt’s own appointed consultant architect for the Lad Bazaar project, which sought to preserve the heritage building and shops, has not been considered.

    We refer you to a report in the Deccan Chronicle dated 21.11.06, page 3, last paragraph. The same report also quotes a statement made by Additional Commissioner, MCH, if we go about saving every old structure there, that way the entire Old City will have to be left untouched”. It is only to avoid such situations that an expert body like the Heritage Regulation Committee was formed and elaborate provisions stipulated under Regulation 13 of the HUDA Zoning regulations 1981. The officials of the MCH are required to have respect for the state’s own law. This arbitrary action and insensitive attitude of the MCH and other concerned authorities must change.

    Thanking you,

    (M. VEDAKUMAR)
    Convenor, Heritage Cell
    Forum For A Better Hyderabad

    C.C to: 1. Sri.G.P.Rao, Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, HUDA, Hyd.
    2. Sri.Sanjay Jaju, IAS., Commission, MCH, Hyd.
    3. Sri.R.V.Chandravadan, IAS., Collector, Hyderabad Dist., Hyderabad
    4 Sri.Shravan Kumar, IAS., (Retd.,), Convenor, INTACH A.P.,Chapter, Hyd

    Letter ON Moulali Kaman
    To
    Date: 29.6.2006


    Sri.G.P.Rao, IAS.,(Retd.,)
    Chairman
    Heritage Conservation Committee
    1-8-323, Paigah Palace, Opp. Police Lines
    Begumpet
    SECUNDERABAD -3

    Dear Sir,

    Sub:  Moula Ali Kaman - Report in the newspapers dtd. 29.6.2006.


    ***

    Having heard reports that a truck hit and damaged a part of the above gate, a few representatives from the Heritage Cell of the Forum For a Better Hyderabad visited the site on 28.6.06, and observed that it was indeed so. Today, reports have come in newspapers, such as the Hindu and the Deccan Chronicle, and a few other papers on the incident

    Reportedly, a view was already taken by the Malkajgiri Municipality , under whose area of operation the Gate falls, that due to obsolescence and for the purpose of widening the road, the arch  should be demolished, and a wider arch constructed over a taller gate.   As sentiments were attached with the gate and the local peoples resisted the proposed demolition,  negotiations were started with the local peoples and also some religious heads, including the enhancement of the amount to be spent.

    By various reports, the gate is 200 – 250 years old. ( See the Hindu and the Deccan Chronicle of 29.6.06 attached herewith).

    Moula Ali Kaman  is  the gateway to the famous Hazrat Ali shrine in Moula Ali. It is the practice of the devout to first stop at the Kaman, offer their respects, and then move on to the shrine of Hazrat Ali in Moula Ali. R & B engineers reportedly observed that the arch was unsafe, but as there are lots of sentiments attached to the Kaman, they have left the decision to the discretion of the local populace, as per a news paper report.

    As of now, the structure is not a notified heritage building, but Hyderabad abounds in structures which have heritage features but are not yet notified as heritage building. Identification and notification of heritage buildings is an on-going process. That is why no structure which prima facie has heritage features and a long history any important association, even if not notified as a heritage building, should be tampered with till full investigations are made. Once a heritage structure is lost, it cannot be retrieved and is lost to the city.

    In the circumstances, we request as follows:

    1.A team of conservation experts may be deputed immediately to examine the heritage features of the structure, including its history and other associations, and the fact of its being a landmark in the area. The opinions of conservationist organizations should be taken, separately,  or in a group discussion/ or discussions

    2.Local sentiments should be respected and nothing should be done in a unilateral manner

    3.Meanwhile,  necessary and adequate repair should be made to the gate and the arch, so as to avoid any risk from its falling down. There should be proper policing to control the movement of heavy vehicles through the gate

    4.The submission from the state archaeology department should be checked and given utmost consideration
    In fine, nothing should be done in haste, and a consensus should be worked out.

    If at all necessary, reconstruction of the gate and the arch should be undertaken but only by expert conservation architects. But this should be a final recourse, after the consent of all concerned.

    Thanking you,

    Yours sincerely,

    (VEDAKUMAR.M)
    Convenor, Heritage Cell
    Forum For A Better Hyderabad

    Copy to:

    1. Sri.Jayesh Ranjan, IAS., Vice-Chairman, HUDA , Hyderabad
    2. Dr.J.Kedareeshwari, Director, State Archeology & Museums, Hyd.
    3. Sri.Shravan Kumar, IAS., (Retd.,), Convenor, INTACH Hyd.Chapter, Hyd.
    4. Sri.Samson, Commissioner, Malkajgiri Municipality, Secunderabad
    5. Sri.Premji, Mandal Revenue Officer (MRO), Malkajgiri, Secunderabad
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    Letter ON Chowmahalla
    To

        Date: 27.6.2006


    Sri.Sanjay Jaju, IAS.,
    Commissioner
    Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad
    HYDERABAD

    Sir,

    Subject:  Chowmahalla palace - Report in the Deccan Chronicle dated 24.6.06.

    We refer  to a report in the Deccan Chronicle of date stating that illegal encroachments have taken place and construction has taken place, and continuing, around Chowmahalla Palace, which is a notified Heritage Building under Serial No 35, Grade I.  We enclose a copy of the report, which is self-explanatory.

    We submit as follows
    :

    1.The Chowmahalla Palace is a notified Heritage Building under Serial No 35, Grade I.   It is also situated in the Charminar Precinct. The constructions coming in the close vicinity of the palace, its walls and compound,  violate the protection offered to a notified heritage building under various clauses  Regulation 13  of of HUDA Zoning Regulations 1981, in particular, sub-clauses 2 and 7 thereof. No permission was also sought for in the matter from HUDA, acting on the advice of the Heritage Conservation Committee

    2.Please immediately stop any further construction or alterations near the palace. Please also have the site visited and have a status report. This obligation is incumbent upon you as protector of heritage property.   (Under state government G.O. Ms.No. 263 M.A., dt.14.5.2003  for MCH only).In this connection, we draw your attention also to the A.P. High Court’s  final judgment in the W.P. no 7631 of 2002, in which a brief reference was made by the Court on Chowmahalla Palace, namely,
    “It was  conceded that the  Chowmahalla Palace was a Heritage building” ( by the respondent parties, MCH being one of them).
    We shall be glad if you please take immediate action in the matter


    Yours sincerely,

    (VEDAKUMAR.M)
    Convenor, Heritage Cell
    Forum For A Better Hyderabad

    Copy to:

    1. Sri.S.P.Singh,IAS., Principal Secretary, MA & UD Dept., Govt.of A.P., Hyd.

    2. Sri.Jayesh Ranjan, IAS., Vice Chairman, HUDA, Begumpet, Hyd..
    3. Sri.G.P.Rao, IAS., Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, Hyd
    4. Sri.Shravan Kumar, IAS., (Retd.,), Convenor, INTACH Hyd.Chapter, Hyd
    5. The Chief Executive, Chow Mahalla Palace
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    Letter to Sanjay jaju on Charminar precincts
    Date: 29.11.2006
    To
    Sri.Sanjay Jaju, IAS.,

    Commissioner
    Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad
    HYDERABAD
    Sir,
    Demolition of shops at Ladbazaar in Charminar precinct as part of
    Road widening programme, without obtaining permission
    of Heritag Conservation Committee.
    We have gathered information that a number old shops at Ladbazar toward Chowmahalla palace are being pulled down , may be as part of the road widening programme. These shops are an integral part of the Charminar precinct. As per Regulation 13 of HUDA Zonal Regulations 1981, prior permission has to be obtained from the HUDA who are to act on the advice of the Heritage Conservation Committee. There is an unambiguous ruling of the AP High Court on this also.

    We understand the Heritage Conservation Committee is meeting urgently to examine the matter of road widening in that particular area of the Charminar precinct, where the shops are being demolished.. We request you that till such meeting takes place, and HCC is satisfied that the road widening programme is in accordance with their approval given in 2003, the work and the demolition of shops be suspended.. We , therefore, urge upon you to immediately stop this demolition work and await instructions from the Heritage Conservation Committee.

    This letter is being endorsed to HUDA Vice-Chairman, the Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, for necessary action.

    Yours Faithfully,

    M.Mandal
    Heritage Cell

    Omim Maneckshaw Debara
    General Secretary
    Copy to 1. Sri.Jayesh Ranjan,IAS., Vice-Chairman. HUDA for suitable action.
    2. Sri.G.P.Rao, Chairman. Heritage Conservation Committee, HUDA
    for suitable action.
    3. Sri.Shravan Kumar, IAS., (Retd.,) Convener, INTACH, Hyderabad Chapter
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    Destruction of Heritage
    Date:24-11-2006
    To
    Sri.Jayesh Ranjan, IAS
    Vice Chairman
    HUDA
    Begumpet
    HYDERABAD
    Dear Sir,
    Sub: Destruction of heritage . Visit on 22.11.06
    Representatives from several NGOs such as the Forum For A Better Hyderabad, Coalition for Peace and Harmony , COVA, Pukaar, Apna Watan, Mr. Burgula Narsinga Rao, a social activist, and Dr. V.K Bawa from Center for Deccan studies and several other prominent individuals visited the old Gandhi Medical College, Basheerbagh and later on Lad bazaar on 22nd November, 2006. Gandhi Medical College, a notified, grade I heritage building, housed the city improvement trust board of the Nizam. It is popularly known as the principal’s office. It doors were found removed and its rear portion has been partly broken apparently due to an attempt to pull it down which was subsequently stopped. The ladies Hydari club, a notified grade II B heritage building, is without doors and windows and its flooring has been removed. The MCH has failed to protect these buildings, in violation of its statutory responsibility to protect heritage buildings and precincts in its jurisdictional area. Please arrange to have the buildings restored in accordance with the conservation regulations.

    Contrary to a statement by MCH Additional Commissioner that the MCH has stopped the demolition work and sealed the building until further orders, vide Indian Express dated 18.11.06, we found that the City Improvement Trust building and the Hyadri club were not sealed but were wide open. Further, work was not at all stopped but was going on in full swing. We have documented our findings for further action, if required.

    It seems that before handling over the premises to the developer, permission was not obtained from the heritage conservation committee, as required in respect of heritage buildings. We would like to know how this omission happened and what action is proposed against the delinquent persons and to prevent recurrence. The matter must also be referred to the Heritage Conservation Committee immediately, for their suitable action.

    We would also like to know what instructions were issued to the developer at the time of handing over the heritage building. A copy of the letter containing these instructions and the memorandum/agreement signed by the developers may also be furnished to us. We ask for this information under the Right to Information Act.
    We also fail to understand the need for construction of a mall, etc., in the erstwhile Gandhi Medical College premises. Instead, what Hyderabad needs is more parks and open space & reducing the pressure of traffic.

    Ladbazar

    Ladbazar is within the Charminar precinct and road widening and removal of old buildings having heritage features, require the prior approval of the heritage conservation committee. In the judgment on Writ petition no 20387 of 2001, the High Court ruled that such permission was a must. “There cannot be any doubt whatsoever that having regard to the policy decision taken by the State and keeping in view Regulation no 13 of HUDA Zoning Regulations Act 1981, the requirements there under must be complied with before taking up the Zonal Development Plans in Heritage Precinct no 10”.

    Notwithstanding Regulation 13 and the aforesaid judgment, a number of mulgis (shops) of the Deccan style of construction, which was very popular during the nizam period, were found recently demolished, for road widening. This is changing the character of the city and is clearly in violation of concept of precinct and the state’s own heritage regulations.

    We are surprised that even the proposal submitted by the govt’s own appointed consultant architect for the Lad Bazaar project, which sought to preserve the heritage building and shops, has not been considered.

    We refer you to a report in the Deccan Chronicle dated 21.11.06, page 3, last paragraph. The same report also quotes a statement made by Additional Commissioner, MCH, if we go about saving every old structure there, that way the entire Old City will have to be left untouched”. It is only to avoid such situations that an expert body like the Heritage Regulation Committee was formed and elaborate provisions stipulated under Regulation 13 of the HUDA Zoning regulations 1981. The officials of the MCH are required to have respect for the state’s own law. This arbitrary action and insensitive attitude of the MCH and other concerned authorities must change.

    Thanking you,

    (M. VEDAKUMAR)
    Convenor, Heritage Cell
    Forum For A Better Hyderabad

    C.C to: 1. Sri.G.P.Rao, Chairman, Heritage Conservation Committee, HUDA, Hyd.
    2. Sri.Sanjay Jaju, IAS., Commission, MCH, Hyd.
    3. Sri.R.V.Chandravadan, IAS., Collector, Hyderabad Dist., Hyderabad
    4 Sri.Shravan Kumar, IAS., (Retd.,), Convenor, INTACH A.P.,Chapter, Hyd

    TOP