Wednesday, Jul 17, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The beautifully arched Nampally Sarai, which now faces threat of demolition.
Addressing a press conference, the citizens -- Laxmi Deviraj, Ratna Naidu, Kulsum Reddy and Nawab Khasim Ali Khan -- said it was surprising that the MCH, which was assigned the task of protecting the city's heritage should come up with a plan of demolishing an important landmark and put up an ugly commercial complex. "The MCH is setting a bad precedent for citizens. What moral right will it have in asking citizens to protect heritage buildings,'' they asked.
They said people like Nawab Shah Alam Khan, Shankar Melkote and his wife, Rama Melkote, and Jagdish Mittal could not make it to the press conference but endorsed their views. Mrs. Deviraj, who visited the building, said its condition was not as bad as had been portrayed by the MCH. Barring a balcony and only one of the 53 rooms, the building was in a reasonably good condition.
Constructed in November/December 1919 soon after the World War I at a cost of Rs. 1 lakh, the building's original name was "Sulah Sarai'', (a peaceful resting place). The site was chosen as it was close to the railway station and next to "Carore giri'', the custom house, to enable visitors to pay custom duty and check into the "sarai''.
In the coming days, they would petition the Governor, the Chief Minister, the Mayor and the Commissioner of MCH. They would also submit a memorandum to the HUDA and the Heritage Conservation Committee to include the building in the list of heritage buildings to give it legal protection.
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