Hyderabad: Heritage lovers, activists and residents of the city gathered to discuss the roadmap for the protection of Errum Manzil which faces the threat of demolition to make way for buildings to house the state legislature.
Dr Anant Maringanti from Hyderabad Urban Labs said, “The demolition of any building of historical importance is not done for no reason. We have to think about the ulterior motives behind such practices. There is a huge nexus between the government and real estate. By demolishing Errum Manzil, they are making a statement which poses a threat for other heritage buildings.”
Activists said the existing Assembly at the Public Garden used to house 295 MLAs and 90 MLCs. After the formation of Telangana state, the number has come down to 119 MLAs and 42 MLCs. In this backdrop, they questioned the need for the new premises.
Dr Fatima Shahnaz, great-granddaughter of Errum Manzil’s patron, Nawab Fakhrul Mulk who has a personal as well as emotional connection with the building, said, “Until you lose something, you do not value it. I stopped visiting the building after seeing the neglect by the government. My father who designed the building lived for almost 100 years and saw the decay of the building. There is nothing as pai-nful as to see your creat-ion being demolished.”
Built in 1870 by Nawab Safdar Jung Musheer-ud-daula Fakhrul Mulk, the expansive palace is located atop a hillock known as Erragadda or “red hill” in Telugu.
An example of the Indo-European baroque architectural style popular during the Nizam’s era, Errum Manzil was taken over by the government and used as a record store-house and further transferred into the hands of the public works department. The building comprises over 150 rooms, a golf course, horse stable and a polo ground.
Ms Sarayu N., a city resident, said, “If government and private entities keep on encroaching our heritage sites, common people like us will not be able to access them. These properties and buildings are part of our lives and we have been seeing it since our childhood days. It is a shame if we are not able to save our heritage.”...