The last Nizam of Hyderabad Osman Ali Khan commissioned the hospital, built on 26.5 acres of land abutting the river Musi, and it was designed by British architect Vincent Jerome Esch. (DC)
Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has decided to take up beautification works worth Rs 62.89 lakh at the Osmania General Hospital (OGH) to give the iconic facility a facelift.
The OGH building is over 150 years old and is considered a heritage structure. The last Nizam of Hyderabad Osman Ali Khan commissioned the hospital, built on 26.5 acres of land abutting the river Musi, and it was designed by British architect Vincent Jerome Esch. The three-storey building was completed in 1925 and is regarded as a classic example of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture with the third floor having a Jack Arch roof.
The OGH, which is graded as II-B heritage building in the HMDA listing and is protected under the heritage regulations of the HMDA is now getting the makeover. Though the state has proposed to demolish the OGH building and construct a new modern hospital in its place in 2015, heritage activists opposed the move saying the government should preserve the main building as it was part of Hyderabad’s heritage. Following a hue and cry, the government backtracked and directed the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to take up beautification works in 2016. It had decided to beautify the area around the tamarind tree. The work finally started in February 2017, but it was stopped in the middle due to the graves present on the premises of the building.
However, the HMDA has now decided to paint 5,000 square feet inside the structure, replace the main entrance with the new one, lay about 200 metre vacuum dewatered cement concrete (VDCC) road, construct pavements apart from planting saplings. The municipal authority will use needle vibrators, hydraulic excavator/JCBs, vibratory roller, air compressor, plate vibrator and tipper to take up the civil works, which could pose danger to the structure as a few incidents of roof collapse were reported earlier.
A senior HMDA official requesting anonymity said the HMDA would not touch the structure and would only take up the civil works on its premises. He said inside the structure, only wall painting would be taken up, that too about 5,000 square feet. Asked about using needle vibrators, hydraulic excavator/JCBs, vibratory roller, air compressor, plate vibrator and tippers adjacent to the structure which might harm the heritage structure, the official ignored the question and said equipment would be used outside the structure and refused to comment further.