Hyderabad: The Ameen Manzil, a historic building which was recognised as a heritage site by the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority about three decades ago, was demolished a few months back by its current owners. The demolition, however, went unnoticed.
Experts said that the building, when it existed was mired in controversies. The building was also full of precious books, which were donated to the Himayatnagar Urdu Library. The rest of the building was then divided between two brothers.
The heritage structure had a rich history since it had hosted many prominent personalities like Rabindranath Tagore. It was named after the then executive council member of Hyderabad State, Sir Ahmed Hussaini-Nawab Ameen Jung. He later became the chief secretary of the Nizam of Saidabad. It was his love for books that helped the house to get a good library.
A resident of Ameen Colony, Mosses, said, “It’s been left vacant for many years before it was demolished. Recently, the demolition started and it took nearly one month to demolish the entire structure. There were rumours that a function hall will come up in the same space soon.”
A heritage expert narrating the story of Ameen Manzil, Arvind Acharya, said that the building was sold to someone else by the grandchildren of the Nizam’s executive officer nearly forty years ago. Then there was also a legal dispute regarding an IPS officer, who wanted to occupy the building. But later it came back to the ancestors of Ameen Jung. After that it was presumed that the building was taken care of, but apparently it was not.
The unnoticed demolition was not just limited to Ameen Manzil. There are a number of other ancient structures which would either have collapsed or have been demolished intentionally by their owners.
INTACH convenor Anuradha said, “It is so sad that these structures are collapsing due to lack of government interest. Very soon, we will be left with no identity and no heritage. Economically, we are strong in tourism because we have these structures. If these are left to collapse due to neglect then the city will lose its identity.”
She also added that there were countries like Turkey, Czech Republic, where they even preserve damaged war material. But in this country, even a heritage structure was not being protected. These structures were being neglected and left to collapse, she said.
GHMC additional commissioner and Project Director for Charminar Pedestrianisation Project, Musharraf Faruqui, said, “There are a lot of heritage properties which are under private control in the city, but they have no right to demolish them. Heritage sites should be preserved.”...