Hyderabad: The first RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) structure of Hyderabad “Bachelors Quarters Building” is caught in a legal tussle between the Telangana Housing Board and State Wakf Board over its ownership. The four-storied building that was constructed in the early 1940s during the tenure of the seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, for the benefit of poor students coming to the city for studies, now faces a threat to its own existence.
“Students were allotted rooms, 25 in all. Most of them studied at the Nizam College, City Coll-ege and Osmania Univ-ersity”, said Mr M. A. Qayyum, a historian. The building that stands next to the Moazzamjahi market was originally under the endowment department but its’ management was later handed over to the education dep-artment. “But later, the building was taken over by the housing board and they started collecting rents from the tenants,” said Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Pasha, who runs a shop on the ground floor.
Interestingly, the building also served as a centre for the promotion of humorous poetry and Ur-du language. The building housed the office of Zinda Dilan-e-Hydera-bad, a humour magazine run by a forum for hum-orists. The late Bolly-wood comedian Mehm-ood also visited the office of the magazine and spent time with local humorists like Hameed Kamal, Mujtaba Hussain and others. “It also served as a centre for the promotion of Urdu language. Several persons went on a hunger strike on the ground floor during the movement for the promotion of Urdu language,” recalled Mr. Syed Fazil Hussain Parvez, Chief Editor Gawah, a Urdu Weekly.
The building is now in urgent need of repairs. “Six years ago, the GHMC authorities had sought an expert opinion and JNTU had submitted a report. They said that the building would stand for another 25 to 30 years if it was maintained well,” said another tenant. However, for the last several years, no repairs had been carried out. “We had approached Mohammed Saleem, Chairman of TS Wakf Board and he assured us that repairs would be taken up. But nothing has happened so far,” said Mr. Pasha. The occupants are now ready to take up the repairs themselves, if permission is accorded to them. “At least, this historic edifice will stand for a few more years then,” said a tenant....