Hyderabad: Portions of the breastwork of the 56-metre southwest minaret of the Charminar, facing the Mecca Masjid, fell down on Wednesday night.
Locals and tourists who are always around the iconic monument took videos of the falling pieces which have gone viral.
Archaeological Survey of India superintending archaeologist Milan Kumar Chauley said, “The thick lime plaster has fallen off. Lime, after a few years, loses its strength. The monument needs to be protected from damage. Recently, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation undertook demolition work around the Charminar and brought heavy machinery into the area. The damage to the monument could also be due to that. We are going to assess the damage and repair it.”
The plastering on the monument is not original as it was redone in 1924 by the seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. The minaret had suffered damage from lightning earlier and had been repaired.
ASI officials on Thursday morning inspected the damage and said that the activities around the area have to be curtailed.
Mohammed Safiullah of the Deccan Heritage Trust said that vehicular movement must be banned one kilometre around the monument. “The ASI is striving hard to preserve the monument but caution must be exercised to protect the monument from external threat,” he said.
A conservation archaeologist, who did not want to be named, said the activity around the Charminar is becoming a problem.
Fresh concerns about Charminar
“Apart from environmental degradation due to pollution, weather conditions and also wear and tear, the sheer load on the monument due to human activity is quite high. This is one of the reasons for the damage to monuments,” said the conservation archaeologist.
The incident has raised fresh concerns about the safety of this unique monument, which is an example of Indo-Sara-cenic architecture built in 1591 AD by the fifth king of the Qutub Shahi dynasty Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah.
The officials of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) disowns any responsibility.
Mohammed Musharraf Ali Faruqui, additional commissioner, GHMC, said, “The Archaeological Survey of India has to take up the work at Charminar and GHMC has nothing to do with it.”...