Hyderabad: Fresh efforts of the state government to bring Metro Rail project to the Old City are bound to face another hurdle with Shia community members up in arms against the decision. They want the government to first explain how they will deal with the historic Ashoorkhanas, where members of the community gather to offer prayers, before going ahead with the project.
There are seven Ashoorkhanas on the stretch between Salar Jung Bridge and Hari Bowli junction. Members of the Shia community pointed out that the religious places date back to several centuries and would get affected during the proposed road widening.
“Our community is unanimously against the Metro Rail line through the Darulshifa road stretch. Around eight Ashoorkhanas and few other places of religious significance will get affected,” complained Mir Hadi Ali, president, All-India Shia Organisation. He said that a total of 120 religious structures of all communities are on the route.
Among the important religious places are Aza Khana-e-Zehra, Alawa-e-Sartoq, Ashoorkhana Shehzadi Qasim, Ashoorkhana Shiraz building, Ashoorkhana Baitul Qayaam and Ashoorkhana Nawab Jamshed Ali Khana.
A mega Metro rail station is being planned opposite the Aza Khana Zehra. The building being old, the community feels that the digging for foundation of the Metro station could damage the structure.
Syed Hameed Hussain Jaffery, Shia Youth Conference president, said that the most important issue would be during the month of Muharram. “For about two months, we hold ‘Majlis’ – mourning congregations and important procession, including the Bibi-ka-Alam that have been passing through the route for decades. We consider anything that goes over Alam as objectionable,” he said.
Former MLC Altaf Hyder Razvi said that they had brought this issue to the notice of the government earlier also. “The AIMIM party is not against Metro rail. If the government insists on this particular route, they can go ahead, after addressing the concerns of the managements of the religious places,” he said.
The state government had recently planned to ground the Metro rail in the Old City. Minister for municipal administration and urban development K.T. Rama Rao had asked the officials concerned to explore the alternatives if L&T has reservations in taking up the project in this part of the city.