In a huge embarrassment for K. Chandrashekar Rao led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, the Telangana high court on Monday set aside its decision to dismantle 150-year old heritage structure Errum Manzil.
The state’s cabinet had on June 18 decided to gaze down the building near the Panjagutta area, to build a modern, state-of-the-art state legislative assembly complex in Hyderabad.
The state was planning to house its Assembly, legislative council, and residential quarters for speaker, deputy speaker and council chairman in the complex.
A division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Shameem Akhter setting aside the government’s decision said, “Dismantling heritage structures is dismantling the people’s existence and erasing the recognition of the city.”
The bench also said that destruction of such structures deprives the city of its sense of uniqueness and observed that protection of the heritage is as equally important as preparing future plans.
The bench held that the state government ignored several aspects while removing the monument from the list of heritage structures under the Telangana Heritage (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Maintenance) Act of 2017.
The government also ignored the Master Plan, 2010 under which certain areas of Hyderabad were declared Special Reservation Zone, the bench said.
The bench was hearing a batch of eight petitions filed by Deccan Archaeological And Cultural Research Institute, Dr Mir Asghar Hussain, Journalist Pasham Yadagiri, Professor P L Visweshwar Rao and a few others.
As per reports, the descendants of Nawab Fakrul Mulk, a noble of erstwhile Hyderabad state were also opposed to the government’s plan.
Errum Manzil palace was constructed in 1870 by one of the Nizams, the rulers of Hyderabad state, Nawab Fakhr-ul-Mulk.
The palace, comprising 150 spacious rooms has a nine-hole golf course, polo ground, stable for horses and a dairy farm.
The palace, built in the Indo-European Baroque style of architecture with full of stucco and ornamental works was used for royal banquets and other grand events.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on June 27 laid the foundation stone for the new Secretariat building and Assembly complex.
Later on, KCR laid the foundation stone in Errum Manzil and performed rituals for the construction of new Assembly building.