The magnificent high domed building of the Osmania General Hospital is under a lot of pressure recently. Many speculations arise after the chief minister of Telangana announced its demolition
Osmania General Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in India located at Afzal Gunj, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. The building was built by Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of the Asafjahi dynasty in 1925. The hospital is situated over an area of 27 acres on the bank of the river Musi, provides a captivating architectural harmony.
The hospital was first built to offer medical services free of cost to the people.It is now catering to the whole of Andhra Pradesh and is under the control of the state government. It has a 1,168 beds that are divided into 363 super-speciality beds, 160 emergency beds and 685 general beds. Around 250 physicians and 530 nursing staff serve in this hospital.
Now the Telangana government is planning to demolish this building to construct a Super-speciality hospital in its place. "About eight acres of land occupied by it and a six-acre plot beside it would also be used to build twin towers of 12 storeys each," said a Telangana Health Department official.
But Historians are against the demolition of the in-patient building in the Osmania General Hospital as the building has been a part of the history of the 400-year-old city.
"We still believe a study has to be undertaken by conservation experts to protect the building. Patients and health care workers can be shifted if the structure posses a danger to the lives," says Anuradha Reddy, co-convenor, INTACH, Telangana State.
"Has any conservation architect certified OGH heritage building is dangerous and should be demolished? While engineers look at safety and security, preservationists look at prolonging the life of the dead materials. More than 90% of the building material used on OGH heritage building is inorganic, which means highly skilled technicians can strengthen this material and prolong the life," claims, G. S. V. Suryanarayana Murthy, conservation architect.