Hyderabad: The police on Monday razed the tunnel-like structure that was discovered near Charminar on Sunday, drawing fire from conservationists. The structure, which was initially speculated to be a tunnel, was found at a police construction site.
“Whatever that structure was, by the time we reached, we found it demolished,” complained Mr Vedakumar Manikonda, president of the Forum for Better Hyderabad. “The authorities were supposed to refer the stone masonry structure to the Archaeology department.”
“This shows how much concern we have for heritage,” said Ms Anuradha, convener of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). The structure was found in an area where police quarters were being re-built. Defending the demolition, Charminar inspector A. Yadagiri said, “It wasn't a tunnel. It was a dilapidated structure. This is Old City and one can find several such structures.”
“The police quarters was constructed here around 50 years ago. As the old quarters became dilapidated, we razed it and started work on a new one,” he added.
However, Mr Vedakumar said, “Though the site belongs to a government department, it falls under the Charminar precinct and the Heritage Regulation Act states that all work here should be screened by the Heritage Conservation Committee i.e., the HMDA.”
The cops didn’t allow the ASI and Archaeology officials into the site and asked them to get permission. A senior official of the Archaeology department said that a team had been sent. “We have asked the police commissioner to stop work so that the area can be studied. He has promised to look into the matter,” Mr Veda-kumar added.