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Portion of Khusro Manzil brought down

HMDA has not given permission for demolition: MA&UD Secretary

Exactly 100 years after it was built, a portion of the Khusro Manzil in Lakdikapul area was brought down by its current owners. It is a Grade III heritage site under Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) zonal regulations.

“The HMDA has not given permission for its demolition,” said Arvind Kumar, Principal Secretary of the Municipal Administration & Urban Development, when contacted for a comment.

While the front portion with the modified Corinthian columns and decorative entablature are intact, a swipe from an earthmover brought down a portion on the right side at the rear part of the building. It was an intervention by nearby residents that ensured that the building was not completely razed. “We rushed there as it is a heritage building and cannot be demolished without permission. When we asked to see the permission, the builders said they were yet to get it from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC),” said Shrikant, resident of a building that overlooks the heritage site.

The Khusro Manzil, built on a hill overlooking the city with a clear view of Charminar as well as the Golconda Fort, was completed in 1920. It was built by Khusro Jung Bahadur, son of Afsar ul Mulk, who must have been 30 years old at that time.

“The columns are a modification of the Corinthian order. The projected balcony has floral ornamentation which is very neo-classical. While usually columns are used freely, this building uses semicircular arches to bridge between columns,” says Sibghat Khan, an architecture student explaining the merits of the building.

After the residents’ intervention, the builders claimed that they were clearing the land behind the building. “The total area is about 7,000 square yards. We are planning to build six-storey and seven-storey residential apartments here. We have got all clearances. We are awaiting GHMC permission,” informed an official of the construction company.

The earthmover operator, who left the place in a hurry after residents reacted to the demolition, said the earthmover model (L&T 200) is mainly used to bring down buildings and not flattening land.

While rumours about demolition of the Khusro Manzil have abounded, it remains to be seen whether the building will survive this effort.

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