Hyderabad: The 150-year-old City College campus is crying out for attention. The building has developed cracks on the Eastern Wing due to plants taking root and the external lime mortar plaster is chipping off, which might lead to major damage soon.
Manjulatha, principal of Government City College, has written to the department of Archaeology and Museums and the R&B department for estimates for its restoration. However, the building is listed under Grade II B of the HMDA’s Heritage Conservation Committee, which expired in March 2013 and has not been renewed so far.
“We are not authorised to take up any kind of repair. This is a very old building and only a few segments are concrete. The rest is built with lime mortar and restoring the plastering will be expensive. We do not have that kind of huge funds. Hence, we have approached the government’s various departments for suggestions and estimates. The government might shortly release some funds and there is a possibility of some minor funding from the University Grants Commission is also expected,” said Ms Manjulatha.
She mentioned that just painting the external walls of the building can cost anywhere from `12 to `14 lakh. “There is an immediate requirement of `2-3 crore. We have appr-oached the HMDA also. We will have to wait and see,” she said.
The City College campus has been used for a few film shoots including a Salman Khan film in 2003. However, the college authorities have been very particular about granting permissions in the last one year to protect the building. “Since April 2003, we have permitted just one shooting,” the principal said. INTACH heritage expert Anuradha Red-dy, who inspected the site, said, “The roofs are the main concern. They must be water-proofed. Water has seeped into the lime mortar. There must be a thorough inspection of this building that is located in the heritage- rich stretch from Purana Pul to Chaderghat. There is the Osmania Hospital, British Library, Salar Jung museum, the Andhra Pradesh High Court, stone embankments at Musi and this stretch has been neglected. Several well-known luminaries from Hyderabad have passed out of City College. It needs to be preserved.”
While the Roads & Bridges department has given estimates with cement as the raw material, engineers from the Archaeology department said that the same material that was used in the original construction needed to be used and that cement would only ruin the building. “The condition of the building is definitely a cause of concern. The roofs are leaking, the compound walls are dilapidated, and the internal lime mortar is decayed from inside. It should be removed and re-plastered with the same and must have a sebara finishing. It cannot be done in cement,” said M.M. Alim, engineer from the department of Archaeology who inspected the site.
G. Uma Maheshwar Rao, executive engineer of the department, meanwhile, said that the department could not take up the work as the building was listed under HMDA.
“If it is given to us, we can certainly take it up. But currently we do not have that kind of funds to start the work,” he said. Dr G.V. Ramakrishna Rao, deputy director (Tech), department of Archaeology and Museums, said, “Going by the current state of the building, it is better if it is done under the supervision of our department. Only then can it be effective.”