The property belonging to the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, has come under the radar of the Telangana government. The proposed demolition of the 150-year-old heritage building, which happens to be a notified heritage structure in Hyderabad, has led the state government to intervene.
Netizens have expressed fears concerning the future of the building, and the Telangana government had to issue directives that the structure cannot be altered or leveled. The Rs 300 crore property is currently at the center of a civil dispute between Mumbai-based Neeharika Infrastructure Pvt Ltd and Kashmir-based Iris Hospitality.
Media reports and public posts on social media about the alleged demolition have led Arvind Kumar, special chief secretary of municipal administration and urban development, which is responsible for the management of the state’s urban areas, to tweet on April 17 that both parties involved in the dispute must “not alter/ level” the structure.
Arvind Kumar tweeted with the title Clarification – “The #KingKoti palace is a notified Heritage structure & can’t be altered/ modified/ demolished without prior permission from GHMC. It’s in a civil dispute. All said owners are served notices not to alter/ level/ do anything. Police are asked to maintain vigil.” The special chief secretary adds that it’s private property that is under civil dispute. So, though it happens to be a private structure, owners need to have the approval of the competent authority, that is, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
Incidentally, a notified heritage structure by definition means any building of one or more premises, structures, and artifacts that requires conservation or preservation for historical, architectural, artisanal, aesthetic, cultural, or environmental purposes.
As per the central government document, no development, engineering operation, alterations, or renovations are allowed except with the prior permission of the commissioner, municipal corporation/ vice-chairman, or development authority.
Also, before granting permission, the agency is expected to consult the heritage conservation committee (HCC). While Neeharika Infrastructure has denied having any intention of going ahead with demolition, Iris Hospitality has chosen to remain silent on the matter.