GHMC shelves Charminar Pedestrianisation Project

Ambience inspired by Golden Temple marketplace

Hyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has again washed its hands off the ambitious Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP) after keeping everyone on tenterhooks for over two years.

The civic body, in coordination with Quli Qutb Shah Urban Development Authority (QQSUDA), has rubbished the previous proposals claiming that they were impractical. At a recent high-level meeting, QQSUDA, the executive agency, was asked to prepare proposals afresh without disturbing the underground electrical and sewer lines. Corporation authorities instructed engineering officials to construct the facade pillars adjacent to shops in Laad Bazar that were trying to encroach the road thereby further narrowing the street. This is a bid to prevent encroachments.

According to GHMC officials, though the facade development was proposed three years ago, it could not progress even by an inch as other departments stood their ground.

According to the earlier proposal, the corporation was supposed to take up the facade development project in four entry and exit points surrounding Charminar at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore. Subsequently, the project was restricted to Shalibanda and Laad Bazaar. However, citing financial and execution difficulties, the project cost has been slashed to Rs 10 crore. The civic body will now take up the project in Laad Bazaar, whose bangles and pearls are globally acclaimed.

In the latest move, officials have decided not to dig at Laad Bazar and instead lay foundations on the footpath thereby not disturbing utilities underground and prevent the iconic street from encroachments. As many as 120 properties at Laad Bazar will have an ethnic Deccani bearing after the civic body gives them a heritage look after renovating the structures. That apart, on the opposite street, the corporation together with QQSUDA and the tourism department will convert the Sardar Mahal office into a museum.

Firstly, GHMC will develop the facade of the buildings in Laad Bazaar and install heritage lights. The development will be on par with the marketplace near the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The project will be taken up in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode, for which tenders will be invited soon.

A senior GHMC official, requesting anonymity, said that the corporation would choose material on par with the poles erected across Tank Bund. He said wherever required, reinforced cement concrete will be used to support the poles that come on footpaths.

"We need to execute the project. Three precious years have been wasted for this simple engineering solution. The project will be fast-tracked,” he said. The official also clarified that the government is in no mood to shift hawkers from Charminar. It has once again rejected the Salar Jung bridge although the project cost was brought down from Rs 230 crore to Rs 40 crore.

The new bridge at Salarjung Museum will accommodate 80 four-wheelers and 250 hawkers. The corporation has decided to demolish the police station near Charminar as it falls under the 100-metre no-vehicle zone.

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